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‘King’ Mo Lawal weighs in on the Rampage deal and ‘fake-ass’ Tito Ortiz

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

One of the joys of bumping into Muhammed Lawal at any event is that, at some point, if you have a digital recorder or at least an ability to ask questions, you can be made privy to his opinions.

"King Mo" likes to keep things real.

At Sunday’s Grapple at the Garden wrestling event at Madison Square Garden, Lawal was on hand to compete against Rolles Gracie on the mat. Lawal scored a victory in the realm of his default discipline -- wrestling -- but afterwards weighed in on a couple of things. One of them was Quinton Jackson, the UFC’s latest signee who is, far as anybody can tell, still under contract with Bellator in one disputed form or another.

"It’s not going to happen," Lawal told MMA Fighting. "[Jackson]’s under contract. If he does end up fighting in the UFC, good luck, but he won’t fight for a year because he’ll be in court. He’s a joke."

Lawal lost a unanimous decision to Jackson back in May at Bellator 120, which was Bellator’s first (and possibly only) foray into the world of pay-per-view. Back then, under the autocratic rule of Bjorn Rebney, Jackson was, in Mo’s mind, the darling of the dance, which prompted him to accuse the former CEO of "d*ck-riding" on national television.

Lawal keeps just that real.

With Jackson now moving on from the Scott Coker-era of Bellator (probably), Lawal won’t (likely) get his rematch. But there is still one dusky star on the horizon that he’d like to fight, and that’s Tito Ortiz. Ortiz, whom many left for dead after a series of career-threatening injuries and a six-year stint where he managed only a single victory, has won two fights in a row.

"He’s a bitch, too," Lawal said. "It won’t happen. He don’t want to fight me. He would fight Stephan Bonnar, but he wouldn’t fight me. He would fight Alexander Shlemenko, who’s really a smaller 185er, but he won’t fight me. I’m hood and ghetto -- I’m from the South, so I speak the way I speak. I’m not going to hit no switch and be like, ‘oh, hello there.’ I’m keeping it real. He’s a fake-ass dude. All he has to do is admit that he doesn’t want to fight me. If he does that, I’ll leave his ass alone. Keep it real. Tito Ortiz in his prime would never had beaten me ever."


"Because what’s he going to do, outwrestle me? Never," he said. "Here’s where he’ll say, ‘Well I beat Vladimir Matyushenko.’ Yeah, Matyushenko had a Russian style of wrestling that wasn’t offensive. He’s a guy that did cross lifts, leg laces and chest wraps. Tito would never beat me. He’d never have beaten Quinton Jackson. He wouldn’t have beaten any of us. He’s a bum.

"Well, he’s not a bum. He’s a great fighter. But in my eyes, I’d make him look like a bum."

Lawal, who is coming off of back-to-back victories over Dustin Jacoby and Joe Vedepo, says he’d like to fight again in April or May. Whether that’s against Ortiz or somebody else remains to be seen. But Coker likes to match up his star brands.

Before all of that, though, is UFC 182, in which his good friend and erstwhile training partner Daniel Cormier will challenge the best pound-for-pound fighter in the game, Jon Jones. On this front, Lawal says he’s hoping not only for a good showing from Cormier, but a sustained existential beat-down that Jones will have to think about for years to come.

"I think Daniel’s going to win," he said. "Personally, I don’t want him to knock Jones out. I want him to beat him 50-45 because, once you get dominated like that, what can you do? If you get knocked out, you can be like, ‘I got caught, I was warming up.’ You get dominated, you got beat in every position. You got worked in jiu-jitsu, your stand-up, your kickboxing, your grappling, your wrestling, your cage position, cardio, everything."

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