Muhammed Lawal doesn’t mix words.
The former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion is set to meet Roger Gracie this Saturday at Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov in his first fight back since dropping the title to Rafael Cavalcante last August.
Recently, the outspoken “King Mo” was on The MMA Hour, where, among other subjects, he discussed Strikeforce’s future – which this king does not see being all-that-bright.
With Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem being joined by light heavyweight champ Dan Henderson on the sidelines, working out new deals, Lawal feels like the organization he has grown up with could be on its last legs.
“It feels a little weird, because it’s not the same,” said Lawal, of Zuffa, which owns the UFC, also owning Strikeforce. “It’s like a cancer patient, like a dying cancer patient. That’s how I feel like the organization is. We’re just waiting for it to die, to pass. As long as I can get my fights in and they’re still around, I want to get them in.”
Rumors have both Overeem and Henderson leaving for the UFC. That would make both titles vacant, but Lawal doesn’t want to win a title that was vacated by someone still fighting – just in another organization.
“If I’m going to fight for the belt, I want to fight the champ, and that’s Dan,” Lawal said.
Since overcoming surgery that forced his delay from the sport, Lawal has switched camps, setting up shop in San Jose, California, with good friend Daniel Cormier and American Kickboxing Academy.
Lawal knows that Gracie’s main goal is to get him to the ground and lock in a submission, but “King Mo” doesn’t seem too worried.
“I’m not afraid to go to the ground with him,” Lawal said. “This ain’t Abu Dhabi. This ain’t (the Jiu-Jitsu World Championships). This is MMA. Wherever the fight goes, I’m prepared to battle.”
Lawal (7-1), who has nicknames that also include Team GDP and Team Thirsty, has coined a new one leading into this fight – Blackuraba, a play-on-words for the black Sakuraba.
“Hell yeah, ‘the Gracie Hunter,’ fool,” Lawal said when asked to explain what it means.