King Mo joins the American Kickboxing AcademyPosted on April 5, 2011, 05:33 PM by Ryan Ventura
Muhammed Lawal better known as King Mo is one of the most accomplished freestyle wrestlers to ever make the jump to Mixed Martial Arts. Mo was a Division One NCAA All-American wrestler for Oklahoma State University and at one time was even the number one ranked wrestler in the US in the -96kg division. When the King failed to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympic games, he took his skills from the mat, and applied them to MMA.
He flew to Japan, made his debut at Sengoku 5, and has never looked back since. After only six professional fights, Strikeforce matched him up with top ten Light Heavyweight Gegard Mousasi for the title. Mo upsetted Mousasi and in only two years he became champion. Four months after winning the strap, he defended his title against Black House product Rafael Calvalcante, and was brutally TKO'd. That was the last time we've seen Muhammed Lawal in the Strikeforce cage.
Since losing the belt, he had knee surgery, flew to Holland to work on his striking with Tyrone Spong, and came back to the States work on his boxing with Floyd Mayweather Sr. In the pursuit of becoming a much more well-rounded Mixed Martial Artist, Muhammed Lawal will be preparing for his next fight at American Kickboxing Academy. I had a chance to speak to AKA's head trainer Javier Mendez who most recently opened up a new gym and had this to say about Mo coming to his camp:
"King Mo is coming in a week from now. He's good friends with Daniel Cormier. They are best friends. Mo misses training with Daniel (Mo and Cormier were teammates at OSU), and I mean, who better to sharpen each other's wrestling skills than the two of them? As a result of their friendship, King Mo is coming here."
When Mo arrives at the new AKA in San Jose, he'll be surrounded by some good company. Not only with his friend Daniel Cormier, but names like Cain Velasquez, Jon Fitch, Josh Thomson, Josh Koscheck, and many more train there to be built into champions. King Mo is expected to make his return to action this summer and I'm looking forward to seeing him showcase the new skills he has learned with all these different world class coaches.
Our exclusive interview with Javier Mendez will also be released this week. You'll have a chance to get to know more about the man behind AKA, and how the camp was formed. He shares stories of his early Kickboxing days, stories of a young BJ Penn, the early days of Cain Velasquez, find out who his top student is, and much more.
Photo by Esther Lin for allelbows.com