As former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal gets ready for his fight against Roger Gracie this weekend, his only goal is to go out and win.
If he is victorious, Lawal could very well be in line for another shot at the Strikeforce 205-pound title, but the former champion says he wants no part of it unless Dan Henderson is the fighter standing across from him in the cage.
Currently, Henderson is a free agent, but he is negotiating with Zuffa with his next fight likely to take place in the UFC.
So what does that mean for the Strikeforce light heavyweight title? Well, it would probably end up vacated, and if that’s the case, Lawal wants no part of it.
“The thing is the best thing to do I think is to beat the guy that’s got the title. So if I was going to fight for the belt, I’d want to fight Dan (Henderson). After I smash Roger, then bring on Dan.”
If Henderson is not available or has left Strikeforce by then, Lawal sees no point in battling for a meaningless title.
“It don’t mean nothing at all,” Lawal said about a vacated belt. “Nothing.”
So with a title shot not in his immediate future, Lawal is only focused on the task at hand and that’s facing undefeated jiu-jitsu champion Roger Gracie.
The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt has been impressive during his short stay with Strikeforce, winning all of his fights by submission. This will definitely be his biggest step up in competition, however, facing a former champion in Lawal.
In the realm of strengths and weaknesses in this fight, Lawal’s wrestling is second to none, but Gracie’s jiu-jitsu is also off the charts. Lawal isn’t worried too much about Gracie’s grappling skill, however, because a well placed punch can definitely even the score.
“I’m very confident in my ground skills,” Lawal stated. “People forget that Abu Dhabi and Mundials and the Pan-Am jiu-jitsu tournaments and stuff like that, they can’t throw knees to the body. You can’t throw punches to the face or body. You can throw elbows to the face or body. It’s a different sport.”
Lawal has watched Gracie’s fights up until now, but he says none of that matters. What matters is the fact that Gracie signed on the dotted line to face him, and that was simply a mistake.
“Yeah I watched his fights, I think nothing of it cause he ain’t fought me,” Lawal stated.
“It’s like this, he took the fight, whatever, but I’m going to make him pay for taking that fight.”