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"King" Muhammed Lawal inks long-term contract extension with Bellator

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps the happiest fighter for the new era of Bellator is Muhammed Lawal. Lawal inked a long-term contract extension with the Viacom run promotion, that will keep him fighting in Bellator for years to come.

Bellator released a press release on Thursday to make the announcement, and Lawal -- who was on the outs with the old regime and former chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney -- made it clear he excited to see where things are headed.

"This was one of the easiest decisions I could have made," Lawal stated in the press release. "After everything that went down over the last six or seven months, I didn't think this was something that would ever happen, but when [Scott] Coker came aboard with Bellator, everything changed. This is where I want to be. I don't care who I fight, when it is, or where it is. I get paid to fight, and that's what I'm going to do for Bellator. That's it."

Lawal is reunited with Coker from the Strikeforce days, when he was briefly the light heavyweight champion in 2010. Lawal beat Gegard Mousasi to win the belt, but lost it in his subsequent fight against Rafael Cavalcante -- both of whom are now competing in the UFC.

Bellator initially signed Lawal in 2012, after he a victory over Lorenz Larkin in his Strikeforce swan song was turned into a "no contest" when he tested positive for the anabolic steroid Drostanolone. After serving a one-year suspension, he debuted in Bellator against Przemyslaw Mysiala at Bellator 86 in Thackerville, Oklahoma, not far from where he wrestled at Oklahoma State. Lawal won the fight via first round knockout.

Since then he has gone 3-3, with a pair of losses to current champion Emanuel Newton. He dropped a narrow split-decision to Quinton Jackson at Bellator 120 in his last fight, which was a the promotion's first pay-per-view event. Lawal and Rebney developed a contentious relationship, with Lawal having choice words for the former CEO on more than one occasion.

Lawal is scheduled to fight Dustin Jacoby on Sept. 5 at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut.