After going undefeated in his first seven professional fights and picking up the Strikeforce light heavyweight title along the way, Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal ran into Black House fighter Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante and suffered the first loss of his career, a third round TKO.
Following that defeat, which occurred in August of last year at Strikeforce: Houston, Lawal took time off from the sport to undergo knee surgery and refine his overall game. Part of that process was setting up shop in San Jose, California and joining the stable of top-flight fighters at the American Kickboxing Academy.
The move came about as a result of Lawal’s long-standing relationship with fellow Olympic-level wrestler Daniel Cormier, who’s made his bones as a member of the AKA camp. Nomadic up to this point in his career, Lawal has given glowing reviews of his time spent at the camp training with the likes of Cain Velasquez, Jon Fitch, Mike Swick, Luke Rockhold, Cormier and Josh Koscheck. He’s also putting stock in the reviews he’s gotten from those training partners, specifically from Josh Koscheck.
Koscheck wrote a complimentary post on Twitter about Lawal’s performance in training, and King Mo takes that as a good sign, considering the source.
“Koscheck is a standoffish guy,” Lawal said. “He doesn’t really say too much; he’s kind of quiet. I talk to him every day at the gym. He’s pretty cool. Any type of guy that would go out there and Tweet it, that threw me off, too. That’s all good.”
Lawal is set to take on Roger Gracie this weekend at Strikeforce 36, which goes down at the US Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio. Don’t forget to check back on FightLine.com on the night for our live, ongoing coverage of the event.