King Mo Believes Speed is a Factor in Kongo Fight
There are certain fighters in mixed martial arts that will step up at any moment to fight and one of those fighters is Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal, who is stepping up to the heavyweight division at Bellator 134 to face Cheick Kongo.
Originally, Lawal (14-4, 1NC) was not slated to be on the February 27th card, but after an injury forced his American Top Team teammate Bobby Lashley out of his fight against James Thompson, Lawal told Bellator officials that he would step up in weight to meet Thompson.
“I saw that Bobby Lashley was hurt and I saw that they needed someone to step in and fight James Thompson,” King Mo said. “James Thompson did not want to fight or was not feeling good or something. I was going to leave it alone and they said we will find someone for you to fight. They called me back and said Cheick Kongo will fight you. I said, ok cool.”
Kongo is a veteran of the sport and is a former Bellator heavyweight tournament winner. The only fighter to defeat Kongo in the Bellator cage is current heavyweight champion Vitaly Minakov. For Lawal, their is one thing he knows about Kongo, he is dangerous.
“He is dangerous, big, long reach, and he likes to finish people. He is dangerous. Every time you step into a fight, there is a chance of getting hurt. He is probably one of the most dangerous fighters I have fought.”
When it comes to the strengths of Kongo, he is known for his clinch work against the fence. Along with that, Lawal noted that the strengths of his opponent include his right hand, frame, and cage control. He cited that Kongo is “pretty solid everywhere,” but one advantage Lawal may have in the fight is speed. Does Lawal agree with that statement.
“I think so but we will see because the way to counter speed is timing,” he said. “I know Kongo has good timing. He is a vet. Right now it’s up in the air. I am pretty confident I am going to win but at what cost. We will see.”
This fight will be the first time that Lawal fights at heavyweight since 2009 when he defeated Mike Whitehead by knockout in the first round. He is undefeated in heavyweight bouts and has won all of those fights by knockout. Lawal has been training with heavyweights to prepare for this fight and some may wonder how it’s different to train for a heavyweight bout as opposed to a light heavyweight bout.
“There is really no difference except you are training for heavyweight, you are training with the heavyweights. You like to go with the bigger bodies because you get use to pushing the heavier weight around. Come fight time, I will weigh 215 — maybe 212. Maybe my opponent is 220 but heavyweight, he could be 250. I do not know what he will weigh in at.”
One of the things Lawal has noticed about Kongo in preparing for this fight is that he likes to fight at a curtain pace. He is going to want to make Kongo fight at his pace and take the fight to him, along with keeping him guessing and not letting him get comfortable.
While Lawal has unfinished business at light heavyweight, his mind is not on that at this time as his only concern right now is walking out of the Mohegan Sun Arena on February 27th with a victory over Kongo.