Not surprisingly, that opponent is Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, who enjoys poking fun at the man he calls "King Ho" in interviews, recently telling our own Ariel Helwani, "I'll fight that chump."
Lawal had it out with Jackson in a heated conversation captured on video two years ago, and the two have chipped away at each other several times since in interviews and over Twitter. Now Lawal says he'd like to meet Jackson at the UFC's event in Japan this February, when his Strikeforce contract is conveniently set to expire, but Jackson seems less thrilled about the prospect, according to Lawal.
"This fool Rampage calls me out, and then people get mad when I respond? He's a b---h in my eyes, because he didn't respond. Maybe he'll respond later, but the word is he wants to fight [Mauricio] 'Shogun' [Rua]. That's whatever. But he called me out, so I'm going to respond," Lawal told MMA Fighting.
As Lawal pointed out, Rua already has a fight scheduled with Dan Henderson for November. If Jackson really wants to fight in front of the Japanese fans when the UFC heads to Tokyo, he could do a lot worse than to take on Lawal, who also has a strong following across the Pacific.
But, Lawal insisted, he wouldn't even be setting his sights on Jackson if the former UFC champ hadn't taken a shot at him in a recent interview.
"When's the last time you heard me mention Rampage's name before he mentioned mine?" said Lawal. "I don't care about him. He wasn't even on my radar. But now, he wants to say something about me, he's on my radar now. We're going to bang eventually."
As for whether it will happen in Japan, and whether Lawal's next fight will really be in the UFC rather than Strikeforce, he admitted he had "no idea."
"Who knows? We'll see. My contract is up in February. ...I'd like to fight, but I have no idea."
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