Yesterday, rumors emerged that Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal had almost lost his leg during knee surgery, came close to death as a result of infection and was now over his head in medical bill debt.
As with most rumors, that set of “facts” proved to be partially true. Lawal himself spoke with CagePotato about the entire incident, revealing that he did indeed run into severe complications while dealing with a knee injury, but that he wasn’t exactly forced into the bread line as a result.
“My health is good, but here’s the thing: All this stuff that came out [on Twitter], happened like three weeks ago,” said Lawal. “I had an ACL replacement again, but that wasn’t a big deal. I think what got me was the micro-fracture surgery. The micro-fractures got infected with staph, and I ended up in the hospital for about twelve days. I didn’t want people to know I was in the hospital, so if people texted me, I didn’t tell them. I was in pain and damned near dying. They gave me morphine. It was crazy. I was trying to keep it normal, and get back to the people that were texting me, telling them that I was okay, so that it wouldn’t get out that I was in the hospital.”
King Mo had to undergo five separate surgeries to clear the infection from his knee and now has a PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter) line inserted through his arm into his heart to administer medication. He revealed to CagePotato that he went in to address the infection in late January, the same day that UFC on Fox 2 aired (January 28) and kept it a secret while he was in the hospital to avoid worry and sympathy.
“It was the day of the Evans/Davis fight. I called the doctor and told him my leg was hot and I had these golf ball lumps on my knee, so he says ‘Come to the office and we’ll check it out.’ He drained my knee, and the blood was like Ghostbusters ectoplasm. It was thick and gooey. He took the blood to the lab, and I went home to watch the fights,” he said. “Right after Sonnen-Bisping, I got a phone call. ‘Mo, meet me at the hospital now.’ He said ‘We have to take you under right now to clean out the infection in your knee.’ So they took me to surgery and cleaned it out. I wake up, and I have a PICC line in my arm that’s attached to my heart. I didn’t think it was that bad and that I was gonna leave Sunday. The doctor said he was keeping me until Monday. Monday comes, and my temperature shot up to 103 or 104, and my knee was still swollen. They took me back into surgery and cleaned it out again. He did the same procedures every other day, depending on how it looked and how my temperature was.”
Lawal, a lifelong wrestler/fighter who’s had his fair share of staph infections, admitted that this was easily the worst he’s ever dealt with and that he “wouldn’t wish this on nobody.” Lawal denied rumors of his financial struggle with medical bills, explaining that he had a contingency plan for injuries and won’t be needing to cancel his cable subscription anytime soon.
King Mo last appeared in action at Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine on January 7, where he defeated Lorenz Larkin via second-round KO. The result was eventually overturned to a No Contest when Lawal tested positive for the banned anabolic steroid Drostanolone post-fight. He’s expected to be able to resume training in six weeks or so.