King Mo will take on Andrew Kapel in a 195 lb catchweight at Bellator 233. The event goes on Friday, November 8th at WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma. This bout is billed as the retirement fight for King Mo as he prepares himself to close the book on quite the storied career. The former Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion and the Rizin heavyweight grand prix winner definitely left an indelible mark on the sport.
Lawal had initially retired earlier this calendar year but it didn’t seem like there was a closure point. He took a loss in Rizin during a failed bid at their light-heavyweight title but wanted to end things under the Bellator banner. Mo said, “I know I reached out to him. They were cool. They kind of let me know that 205 or heavyweight ain’t an option.”
Mo has mainly plied his trade at light-heavyweight and heavyweight. After his loss to Ryan Bader, he teased a move to middleweight and this bout is a 195 lb catchweight, a was mentioned before. This lead me to ask if a future cut to 185 lbs was in his future and if this was truly his last fight. Mo quipped, “I can make middleweight. I was 191 like two days ago. I’d like to keep doing it but I feel like I can’t. It has to come to an end after a while.”
To end his mixed-martial arts career in the Bellator cage makes a lot of sense to Mo. He has been with the company for years and has seen the company make a lot of changes. Mo was there during the Bjorn Rebney era and has also been a fixture throughout Scott Coker’s tenure with company. When I asked him about the key differences between those eras, Mo stated “Look at the production. Look at the signings. Coker’s a different guy.”
While Mo built a name for himself as a moneyweight fighter, he’s looking forward to fighting somebody with a similar physical frame. He stated, “I’m giving myself the best chance to get a W. Fighting someone my size.”Kapel is someone that Mo has studied ahead of this final foray into the cage. Mo said, “I watched him. I know what to expect. Solid kicks, sod jabs. Off his back, triangles and armbars.”
For King Mo, the mentality of fighting in any weight class was rooted in his long-time fandom of the sport. He said, “NHB, no holds barred that was the era. We didn’t have MMA, man. It was just NHB or Vale Tudo. Back then there really was no weight classes. Everybody fought everybody and that’s how I liked it. Challenge yourself. If you can beat guys your size, you can beat somebody bigger. That was my mentality.”
Reflecting and the road ahead
When Mo retired earlier this year, he articulated a waning sense of wanting to hurt people. When I asked him about his present feelings on that, he stated “I was already injured and shit. I was safety first. Sometimes when you take that risk and go for the knockout, you leave yourself open to get knocked out. I wasn’ trying to get hurt myself.”
King Mo has had quite a decorated career and has accomplished a lot. When I asked if Mo looked back on any part of his career with a particular fondness, he said “Just my overall career because it’s all a whole. I never broke it up. Injuries, wins, losses. It is what it is. I enjoyed it all.”
King Mo will take on Andrew Kapel in a 195 lb catchweight at Bellator 233. The event goes on Friday, November 8th at WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma. This bout is billed as the retirement fight for King Mo as he prepares himself to close the…
King Mo has also been doing some pro wrestling as of late. The crossover between MMA and Pro Wrestling has always existed but it seems more prominent now than ever. He had a past with TNA but has been ramping up the amount of indie bookings he has been taking as of late.
When I asked if it was a difficult transition between MMA and pro wrestling, Mo stated “It was pretty easy for me because I’m a wrestling fan. I wasn’t like one of the lames that didn’t watch pro wrestling all of a sudden decide that ‘oh yeah it looks fun. Let me just try it right now’. I wasn’t one of them lames I already knew what was up.” King Mo vs Andrew Kapel goes his Friday and will be simulcast on DAZN and Paramount Network.
I’ve been enamored with combat sports for as long as I can remember. I’ve hosted MMA talk shows Lights Out and Pure Fight Radio with featured guests like Jens Pulver, Roy Nelson, Miesha Tate, Mark Coleman, and more. I’ve been an MMA broadcaster for XFFC as well as BTC and have done play by play commentary on live pay per view on GFL as well as FITE TV. I’ve provided written, audio, and video content covering some of the biggest MMA promotions like Rumble in the Cage, Unified MMA, and King of the Cage. I’ve worked as a sports entertainment personality for over five years and given play-by-play or featured promotions of KSW, ONE Championship, TKO, and Invicta FC. My work can be found in the USA Today Sports affiliate MMA Torch, Cageside Press, MMA Sucka, and Liberty Multimedia.