Strikeforce Houston: Feijao KOs King Mo With Brutal Elbows

Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal was upset by Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante Saturday at Strikeforce Houston, as a tough, back-and-forth fight ended with Feijao landing elbow after elbow to Lawal's head in the clinch until Lawal couldn't fight any longer.

Feijao said afterward that he prepared for this fight like never before. It showed.

"This is not about me," Feijao said. "This is about my coaches, my team -- Team Nogueira -- my partners and trainers. This is about them. I train every day. Somebody asked me before, what will keep you in this fight? Training, training, training. ... This is my dream." The live blog is below.

In the first round Feijao frustrated Lawal by shrugging off most of his takedown attempts, and getting right back up the one time Lawal was able to slam him down. Feijao also found his range standing up, landed more effective punches, and overall looked very good early on.

After two minutes of battling in the standup in the second round, Mo finally got Feijao on the ground and started working the ground and pound he likes so much. But Feijao was able to stand back up again, without absorbing much punishment. The rest of the round was fought standing up, and although it was a better round for Lawal, it still wasn't the fight Lawal wanted.

The third round started explosively with a wild exchange of strikes, as Feijao hit Lawal with a big knee and then a right hand to the head that knocked Lawal down. Lawal was still woozy when he got back up, and he ended up clinching against the cage, holding on for dear life. From there Feijao repeatedly battered the side of Lawal's head with elbows, and Lawal crumpled to the ground.

"I just need to make some adjustments," Lawal said afterward. "He fought a hell of a fight, but I'll come back stronger. This is how true champions get better."

The fight was Lawal's first defense of the Strikeforce middleweight title, which he won by defeating Gegard Mousasi in April. That time Lawal put on a takedown and wrestling clinic, but this time Feijao showed off good takedown defense and great striking. The 10-2 Feijao is now Strikeforce's light heavyweight champ, while the 7-1 Lawal needs to regroup.

"I'm just living my dream," Feijao said. "This is what I want."

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