EXCLUSIVE | King Mo Discusses Loss To Emmanuel Newton at Bellator 106
“I felt like I pushed the action, I felt like I had the bigger shots. I was never hurt in the fight,” Muhammad ‘King Mo’ Lawal said about his most recent loss to Emmanuel Newton at Bellator 106. “I felt like my style was more effective damage-wise, and I felt that I won the fight, but judges saw something different. I don’t know, I have no idea.”
By Christopher Murphy @MurphMMA
Bellator light heavyweight fighter, Muhammad ‘King Mo’ Lawal is coming off a recent decision loss to Emmanuel Newton at Bellator 106 for the promotion’s interim championship. Lawal believes he did enough to win the fight, and in a recent appearance on BJPenn.com Radio, he expressed his exasperation in the fight and its judging.
“I felt like I pushed the action, I felt like I had the bigger shots,” Lawal said. “I was never hurt in the fight, even in the second round when he landed that neck kick – you know, it was like a slap and I was already off-balance. I felt like I pushed the action, got the takedowns. Granted, he might have been busier, but a lot of those kicks weren’t even landing, you know what I’m saying? I was blocking them. But I guess the judges like the activity. I have no idea what they like. I figure they go for ring-generalship and effective strikes, effective everything. I felt like my style was more effective damage-wise, and I felt that I won the fight, but judges saw something different. I don’t know, I have no idea.”
As far as how he felt after the fight, King Mo said he didn’t have a scratch on him.
“I guess it was tough, man, I don’t know. I didn’t have a scratch on my body. I felt like I did enough to win… Not a scratch, not a bump, not a bruise. I actually got done training earlier today, I feel alright, man. I guess they [the judges] like the push kicks or something, I don’t know.”
The fight featured mostly stand-up, with Lawal scoring some takedowns, but not being able to control Newton from the top for very long. King Mo takes some of the blame for that, as his training camp, he says, focused on other things.
“I think my problem was I was focusing, in my camp, I was focusing on striking and takedowns, I didn’t focus as much time on top control as I normally do. That was the issue right there, because usually I spend a lot of time on top control. But this fight, I was spending a lot of time focusing on striking, the takedown, and doing it over and over again. I didn’t focus on maintaining top control in my training. That’s what got me in trouble.”
But even with that aspect of his game suffering, King Mo believes he still did enough to win the fight.
“Yeah, the thing that happened, for me, in the first round I blew up but I kept getting better [and] stronger in the third, forth and fifth – I could have kept on going, but the thing is, I was trying to push the action, but he was kind of just trying to keep me away with the push-kicks. I’d blame myself but when I tried to keep fighting he’d just back away and throw some more push-kicks and slap-kicks. I’d keep on coming forward like, ‘Let’s fight!’ But he was just like – I wasn’t thinking about the score, I was just thinking about fighting. I just wanted to put my hands on him. But the thing is he was thinking about points, but really, I blocked – I don’t have one scratch or one bruise – I blocked probably about 75% of those shots he threw. And the punches? I can’t say a punch even landed, because I was slipping those punches. He may have landed a few shots, but there was nothing behind them.
“I felt like I did the damage, I felt like I controlled the fight. He threw a lot of kicks, but they weren’t like ‘Cro Cop’ kicks, they were more flips, like ‘Hey get off me’ kicks while backing up. There were a few times where he actually kicked me with a push-kick and went backwards, you know, because there was no force behind it, no power behind it. But I guess the judges, you know, I remember when we were fighting he would throw a spinning kick, it didn’t land, but the crowd would go, ‘Ooh’ and ‘Aah.’ Maybe they just like the fact that he throws his kicks up there, I have no idea.”
This is Lawal’s second loss to Newton. The two first met at Bellator 90 when Newton knocked out King Mo with a spinning back fist halfway through the first round. Both men would go on to win their respective fights, Lawal knocking out both Seth Petruzelli and Jacob Noe, and Newton winning a decision over Mikhail Zayats.
While Newton will either defend his title or face current light heavyweight champion Attila Vegh in a unification bout, Lawal will get back into the Bellator tournament and work his way back to another title fight – which he hopes will be against Newton.
“Back in the tournament! Back in the tournament, I’m gonna win it, and [I’ll] fight whoever has the belt then. I’m just a fighter, I’m going to fight whoever they have, beat whoever I fight, whoever has the belt is who I’m going to fight. I’m not worried about the whole thing, but I want to get revenge. I feel like I really want to fight every day. I went back and counted how many kicks he landed. I can tell you he landed two… body kicks, two leg kicks the first round; he landed one head-kick – which really wasn’t a head-kick, it landed on my neck – and 4-6 body kicks and two leg kicks [in the second round]; in the third round he landed 12 body kicks, but they were more like push kicks, and he landed two or three inside leg kicks; and then in the fourth round he landed six body kicks, two leg kicks; and in the fifth round he landed six body kicks and three or four inside leg kicks. The thing is, the body kicks weren’t like ‘Cro Cop’ style body kicks, they were like push kicks. They were almost like… my free hands pushing your shoulder or mushing you in your face – not that much force. They didn’t knock me down or slow me down at all. I guess that they like the fact that he just throw them out there. Each judge [had] seen something different.”
If you missed King Mo’s appearance on BJPenn.com Radio last week, or if you want to hear the entire episode, be sure to check it out here, or in the player below!