Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal is postponing his retirement for one final fight in Bellator.
“King Mo” will return at Bellator 233 to take on Andrew Kapel in a 195lbs catchweight bout. The card takes place November 8 WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma. Bellator has confirmed the bout will act as Lawal’s final retirement fight.
ESPN.com’s Ariel Helwani broke the news of the fight, and Bellator confirmed it.
Lawal (21-9, 1 NC) is the former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion. He began his pro MMA career in 2008 for the Sengoku promotion and won the first five fights of his career before being signed by Strikeforce president Scott Coker. In his Strikeforce debut Lawal defeated Mike Whitehead and earned a title shot against Gegard Mousasi. He defeated Mousasi in a big upset at Strikeforce: Nashville in April 2010 to become the promotion’s light heavyweight champion.
Lawal lost his belt in his first title defense to Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante at Strikeforce: Houston in August 2010. He then beat Roger Gracie and Lorenz Larkin by knockout but tested positive for banned substances after the Larkin fight. When the UFC bought Strikeforce it released Lawal and he immediately signed with Bellator.
Between 2013 and 2019, Lawal racked up a 10-6 record in Bellator, but was never able to capture a belt in the promotion. He also fought for RIZIN, winning the heavyweight grand prix in 2015 but then getting finished by Mirko Cro Cop and Jiri Prochazka in 2016 and 2019, respectively. He has lost his last three fights overall in Bellator and RIZIN, and after losing to Prochazka he announced his retirement. However, he wants one more fight.
As for Kapel (14-6), he’s making his Bellator debut here on the strength of four fights on the regional circuit. However, he has fought no notable names during his 11-year MMA career, and on paper this looks like a way for Bellator to get Lawal a win in his final MMA bout.
Do you think Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal will be victorious in his retirement fight for Bellator?