The Interrogation is a regular feature where The MMA Manifesto interrogates some of the world’s best MMA fighters. Next up is newly crowned Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal who discusses Gegard Mousasi, Fedor Emelianenko and the UFC.
MMA Manifesto: I know you are a confident guy, but are you surprised by how dominant you were versus Gegard Mousasi in your last match?
King Mo: I wasn’t surprised. I think he overlooked me. I had it in my mind that, regardless, I was going to beat him. And I planned on dominating him. People were talking about how good he is but I noticed that one thing is that he controlled the pace of the fights and I controlled the pace of this fight. I was in his face. I knew that when he fought Sokoudjou how bad he gassed and he can’t handle it. People can’t handle pressure like that so that was my gameplan.
I didn’t even fight to my capabilities. I fought kind of sloppy and a little lazy but I still won.
MM: Your eye was pretty swelled up after the fight – any lingering damage?
KM: Three days after that fight my eye was down. I’m good.
MM: Did he hurt you or have you in danger at any point in the fight?
KM: No, not at all.
MM: What do you think about the big scuffle that happened in the cage after the Jake Shields fight?
KM: I didn’t see it – I was backstage, I missed it all.
MM: You being a fan of pro wrestling, did you like that happening or is it bad for Strikeforce?
KM: It’s good for pro wrestling but as far as MMA we’re professional fighters so nobody should be fighting for free.
MM: So what’s next for you?
KM: Just waiting.
MM: How soon do you want to fight again?
KM: Maybe in June.
MM: Do you have an opponent in mind?
KM: Not my say – that’s up to Strikeforce.
MM: Who should be light heavyweight number one contender?
KM: I have no idea, that’s the thing – I have no idea cuz it’s all happened so quick. I fought one fight at heavyweight and I fought Gegard in my seventh fight of my career. It’s up to Stikeforce to figure it out?
MM: Are you surprised at how quick you rose up the ranks?
KM: It is surprising.
MM: Is there enough guys in the Strikeforce light heavyweight ranks to give you a challenge?
KM: I’m pretty sure there will be eventually.
MM: Do you have any aspirations on fighting in the UFC or are you happy in Strikeforce?
KM: UFC is just a brand. It’s like McDonalds and Burger King – who do you prefer.
MM: But the UFC is a higher profile organization and has a deeper talent pool.
KM: Yeah, if you think so. It’s all about marketing. Everyone was saying Gegard was the next that should go to the UFC, “Man he’s so good”, and this and that and I beat him and now no one’s talking about him. Fighting is fighting – anybody can be beat. You can market whoever you want but a fight’s a fight. What would happen if Kimbo Slice happened to knock out Fedor, what would be said then? I don’t give a damn about the UFC really. I fight for Strikeforce. When it comes down to it Strikeforce is my home. It’s like this – all the great fighters the UFC had, they weren’t made in the UFC – they came from other organizations.
MM: Who is someone who you’d like to fight at some point in your career?
KM: Whoever’s the best at the time. Right now it’s Fedor – Fedor’s the best right now. Whoever’s the best – the top guy – that’s who I’d like to fight.
MM: So you see yourself fighting Fedor down the road?
KM: Definitely, yeah.
MM: Do you see weaknesses in Fedor?
KM: I see weaknesses – everybody has weaknesses. I’m not going to say what they are – I’m going to save that for me.
MM: Speaking of heavyweights, the next Strikeforce main event is for the heavyweight title. How do you see the Alistair Overeem -Brett Rogers fight going down?
KM: It should be a good fight. I think Brett can win. I think Brett will probably win.
Alistair has to win with a technical fight. In order for Brett Rogers to win, he has to win (with a) guns-a-blazing, high-paced fight. He’s going to win that fight. It depends on who implements the best gameplan. One fights conservative, one fights guns-a-blazing with full aggression. From what I’ve seen, aggressive fighters tend to do a lot better in the cage. Who knows what’s going to happen. I think Brett Rogers has a chance to win, I think Alistair has a chance to win and we’ll see who has the better gameplan.