When Muhammed Lawal (10-2 MMA, 2-1 BFC) was knocked out by Emanuel Newton earlier this year, some wondered if “King Mo” was already on the downslide in his career. A brutal Bellator 96 finish of Seth Petruzelli (12-2 MMA, 3-1 BFC) addressed those concerns, and now Lawal is promising something even more violent against Jacob Noe.
“I don’t like him,” Lawal said at Wednesday’s Bellator 96 post-event press conference in Thackerville, Okla. “I don’t like the gym he trains at. He’s fake. He talks a lot of trash behind my back, and I hope that he’s here listening, or ya’ll can tell him this because I’m going to beat the brakes off of him. I’m going to whoop his ass so bad I’m going to retire him.”
Fighting for the first time since his knockout loss to Newton, Lawal impressed in his first-round finish of Petruzelli. Comfortable on his feet but also quick to utilize his wrestling background, Lawal took the fight to the floor and then delivered a stunning, one-punch knockout via ground-and-pound. The victory earned Lawal a slot in Bellator MMA’s Summer Series light-heavyweight tournament final.
Meanwhile, Noe booked his spot in the final with a third-round stoppage win over longtime MMA veteran Renato “Babalu” Sobral. Noe was also rebounding from a loss, coincidentally on the same Bellator 90 card where Lawal was downed by Newton. Noe’s loss came to Mikhail Zayats in the semifinals of Bellator’s Season 8 tournament, and he has since admitted it was a crushing emotional moment.
Lawal said he felt no sympathy for Noe then and promised to bring him to a similar moment when the pair meets at Bellator 97 with the Summer Series tourney final on the line.
“I’m going to make sure he goes back crying to his family again because last time we both lost, he was crying, talking about how he misses his family,” Lawal said. “I’m going to make sure that happens again.”
Noe didn’t attend the evening’s post-event press conference, as he was taken to a local hospital to have his hand checked out. There was concern it was broken, which would force a delay in the fight. However, doctors cleared Noe to compete, and the pair now meets at Bellator 97, which takes place July 31 at Santa Ana Center in Albuquerque, N.M.
Lawal promises a memorable affair.
“I can’t stand the dude,” Lawal said. “I can’t stand anybody that’s affiliated with him. I’m going to punish this dude. I’m serious.”
For the latest on Bellator 97, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.
(Pictured: Muhammed Lawal)