clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

'King Mo' Lawal felt he won fight against Phil Davis at Bellator 154


SAN JOSE, Calif. -- King Mo Lawal felt he took the first two rounds against Phil Davis on Saturday night at Bellator's show in San Jose, but he admitted he was hardly confident he had won the decision going into the third round.

"Yeah, I wasn't sure," he said. "Look at the Quinton Jackson fight. I thought I won that fight and they gave a unanimous decision to him. I thought I won the first two. In the third, I think he won, but I came up and kept trying to finish the fight.

"For some reason, whenever there's a close fight, I always end up losing," said Lawal, who ranged between vehement and somewhat despondent in talking about the fight. "I thought I won the first two, but in the third he clipped me on the top of the head. He went for a Kimura, but I wasn't worried about that because he's not going to submit me. When I got free, I took the fight to him. I was hitting him. I knew it was going to be an ugly fight. He likes to fight tit-for-tat. He won't commit to nothing. He hit me with three jabs. His kicks, they were hitting my arms. He went for takedowns and I stuffed him.

"Maybe I can get a rematch with him. Everyone thought he was going to smash me and take me down. They forgot I could wrestle. He wrestled in college. I wrestled grown men overseas. Respect me. Respect my f***ing name. Respect what I do."

The battle pitted two top tier wrestlers, who had been training partners in both of their respective sports in the past. Davis first met both Lawal and Daniel Cormier about a dozen years ago, when Davis had just gotten out of high school, and Lawal and Cormier were training for the 2004 Olympic team.

Lawal later won the national freestyle wrestling championship in 2005, 2006 and 2008, but failed to make either the 2004 or 2008 Olympic teams. Davis went to Penn State and captured the 2008 NCAA title. After Lawal failed to make the team, and Davis graduated, both moved to MMA.

Years back, the two trained together in San Jose, the site of the fight, before both moved on to other camps.

Because both respected each others wrestling, neither got too aggressive in that aspect of the game. Lawal attempted to make it a boxing match, while Davis moved, stayed out of range and threw some kicks.

"I wish it was a five-rounder," said Lawal. "Eventually, I'd have gotten to his ass with something big in the fourth or fifth round. He got on top of me (in the third round) and didn't do any damage. If I get on top of somebody, somebody's going to be bleeding. I could fight right now. He didn't do any damage."

He said that he blocked most of the kicks, and the ones that got through didn't bother him except for the low blows.

"The ones to the cup bothered me," he said. "If the kicks bothered me, I couldn't have come forward. He was doing ugly s***. I made him miss bad."

Lawal's face was unmarked after the three-round fight. Davis, aside from a lump on the right side of the face, also didn't appear the worse for wear.

Lawal said that he wanted to mix wrestling with boxing, but aside from early in the second round, when he scored his only takedown, the opportunity never presented itself.

"I wanted to shoot, but if I made any motion forward, he'd back up," he said. "I wasn't going to take a bad shot when he wasn't in range.

Even though Lawal is a small light heavyweight, smaller than a large percentage of middleweights, he was talking about a run at heavyweight after this loss.

"I don't care, right now I'm 210 pounds. I don't cut no weight. I show up at weight. I could walk around at 205 but I like Mountain Dew and Pepsi, ice dream and popsicles. I had Burger King and McDonald's last week before the fight."

He said his new path would be at heavyweight, hoping to win the belt there and then move back to challenge the light heavyweight champion. But when asked about a rematch with Quinton Jackson, he said he wasn't interested.

Bellator's heavyweight title was vacated earlier in the day when Scott Coker announced that Vitaly Minakov was being stripped of the title after not defending it for two years.

"Rampage, he's on a different path," said Lawal. "Let him fight Tito (Ortiz) and Wanderlei (Silva). Let them fight each other. I want to get the belt at 205 or heavyweight. If Phil gets injured somehow, I'll fight (Bellator light heavyweight champion) Liam McGeary. I'll fight at heavyweight, against (Matt) Mitrione) or (Bobby) Lashley, whoever is there."

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting