Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal will be fighting at RIZIN 15 for the light-heavyweight championship according to a press release from the promotion. Lawal is no stranger to fighting in Japan under the RIZIN banner as he fought in their first Heavyweight GrandPrixx in 2015 which he won, and entered the tournament again in the 2016 open weight Grand Prix where he made it to the quarterfinals and lost to Mirko “Cro-Cop” Filipovic.
2015 was a busy year from Lawal as he not only closed it out by fighting in RIZIN’s inaugural event, which had him fight two days in a row to win the Grand Prix, but earlier that year he fought and won victories over Cheick Kongo at Bellator 134, and Linton Vassell at Bellator 142: Dynamite. Coincidentally, his opponent at RIZIN 15 is the last man he fought in 2015, Jiří Procházka.
Having fought before and won is enough to exude some confidence from Lawal but finishing him in the first round is enough for him to return to Japan and be convinced he will return as a champion.
“I’m excited to head back to Japan and get another one of RIZIN’s belts in April,” Lawal said. He added, “I have a ton of respect for my opponent, but I’m on a mission to represent Bellator and put on a show for all of my Japanese fans. I promise you, he won’t be able to stop me from becoming Champion.”
— Scott Coker (@ScottCoker) January 31, 2019
The mention of representing Bellator in a RIZIN event only adds to what Scott Coker started at RIZIN 14 when he had Darrion Caldwell face Kyoji Horiguchi on New Year’s Eve. Coker took to social media to back Lawal for his fight in April, which makes it seem a Bellator vs. RIZIN event could be building up later this year.