It had been over a year since Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal had competed when he stepped into the Srikeforce cage on Saturday in Cincinnati to take on undefeated submission specialist Roger Gracie.

Gracie was looking to keep his undefeated record intact and Lawal hoped to bounce back from injury and suffering the first loss of his career, losing the Strikeforce light heavyweight title to Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante in August of 2010.

The fight started slow. Both were tentative. Lawal came out with his hands low. Gracie pumped his long jab, but that’s about all that happened through the first three minutes of the bout.

Lawal kept his right hand loaded, waiting for the opportunity to unleash it, and that opportunity came in the final minute of the first round. Lawal landed an overhand right that put Gracie on his back. Lawal rushed in and finished with another punch that left Gracie unconscious on the canvas.

“The fight felt good,” Lawal said following the win. “I underestimated him because I had my hands down and he was catching me with a few shots. He caught me with a good knee, but man, I’m a fighter man. It was a fight.”

After the initial right hand that put Gracie down, Lawal wasn’t sure how hurt Gracie actually was.

“I was worried. I wasn’t sure if he was out or not, so I decided to come hit him with some street punches, some club punches or something,” said Lawal.

When asked what is next, Lawal took the opportunity to request a rematch with Cavalcante.

“I wouldn’t mind fighting Feijao again,” he said. “I really want Feijao again. That’s what’s up.”

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