Being billed as “MMA’s Biggest Grudge Match” couldn’t be more adequately named, featuring two out spoken and far from camera shy Light Heavyweight’s, “King Mo” Muhammed Lawal (12-3-1) and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (34-11). The two will square off at this weekend’s Bellator 120 event as part of the promotion’s first ever pay-per-view offering and the winner will become the season 10 Light Heavyweight tournament champion. However the pair will not only make history being apart of the first ever ppv for Bellator they’ve recently been promoted to headline the entire affair.
Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez was set to take on Michael Chandler in a rubber match to end their entertaining saga, but when word spread that Eddie had a succumbed to a concussion in his training, an interim title bout was created. Chandler will now take on Will Brooks and will serve as the Co-Main event, and the battle of Light Heavyweight Icons will treat fans to a monumental main event.
King Mo has been training like a wild man at American Top Team for this bout, incorporating world renown boxing trainer and former IBO Jr. Lightweight Champion and uncle to five division world champion Floyd Mayweather, Jeff Mayweather. Mo has also been sparring with one of the pound-for-pound hardest hitters in MMA and recent UFC Light Heavyweight number 1 contender, Glover Teixeira.
“I was at American Top Team with Jeff Mayweather who really helped me out, I hadn’t had any soda in like two solid months, no bad food or anything. I normally go through at least 2 cases of mountain dew a month. I’ve in a ton of work with Glover Teixeira who absolutely hits hard as f*&^, I know for a fact he hits harder than Rampage and he’s no doubt definitely more well rounded than Quinton.”
King Mo may have enlisted the right guy to assist in outpointing Jackson as Glover defeated Rampage via unanimous decision at UFC on Fox 6.
Lawal is in his third Bellator Light heavyweight tournament, but the man that stopped both of his attempts at the 205 title is the current Bellator Light Heavyweight champion, Emmanuel Newton. In their second bout, this time for the interim title, King Mo dropped a hard fought and somewhat controversial decision to Newton at Bellator 106.
“I thought I did enough to win the last fight with Newton, If the guy that is supposed to win is put into a good fight or scrap the people or audience will automatically assume that they lost. I think that’s what happened to me, it’s like when someone puts Jon Jones or Floyd Mayweather into a good fight they will just automatically assume they lost.”
Training was another aspect King Mo has changed recently.
“I changed to American Top Team because everything is all there in one single place, before that I was going gym to gym. Like I’d have my cardio at one place then run somewhere else to train my boxing and another place for my wrestling.”
Rewind to Bellator 110.
The event showcased King Mo thoroughly dominate and control former tournament finalist Mikhail Zayats en route to a unanimous decsion and berth in the finals of season 10, Rampage also notched his berth by knocking out former Bellator 205 champion Christian M’Pumbu.
Then in a brash display of testosterone Rampage proclaimed that he’s coming after every fighter in the light heavy division, then when he saw King Mo he shouted “Your Next” repeatedly and the two went at each other prompting a separation.
The action spilled over to the post-fight press conference where the pair took shots at each other verbally until they both stood up and were separated once more.
“It’s time to work, I’m sick and tired of all the talk, let’s do this. He thinks he can just keep running his mouth, on May 17th I’m going to shut it.”
The hatred isn’t a hoax , the animosity is as real as it gets.
“I don’t like him, I have never liked him man, we have never really liked each other. They can think this is pro wrestling stuff or TNA or whatever. It’s not, we just never got along. Hell, we share the same sponsors and we were cordial but we never got along. I don’t even care about this being the main event, all that is great for Bellator and all but this, for me, is about beating Rampage. Not even Rampage, He’s just Quinton, my main goal is to beat Quinton.”
“The plan is for me to win, plain and simple, I will beat him. I don’t know how it will end but I know I’ll have my hand raised. I’m going to do absolutely anything I can do. Anything I can do that’s legal to beat him.”
King Mo is amped for the fight as should MMA fans worldwide as Bellator 120 comes to you live from Memphis, Tennessee this Saturday night. Call your local cable or satellite provider or order this premier event by remote. Fans will not want to miss this heated rivalry come to a crescendo on May 17th.