Muhammed Lawal wants to end his MMA career on a win, but has no plans to go on another title run in Bellator.
Muhammed Lawal is putting a pause on his retirement this weekend at Bellator 233 to try to end his decade-long career on a high note.
“King Mo,” a former Bellator top contender who announced his retirement in June following three straight losses, is scheduled to meet Andrew Kapel on Friday in Thackerville, Oklahoma.
“I want a win,” Lawal told Bloody Elbow. “It’s my last fight. I want to try to end on a win. ... My last wrestling match was a loss in the Olympic trials. I still think about that. I don’t want to leave a loser.”
Lawal’s last fight was a third-round knockout loss to Jiří Procházka at Rizin FF 15 in April. Lawal’s career has been plagued by numerous injuries and surgeries, and when he hung his gloves up earlier this year, his body was in rough shape. Battling hip and knee injuries, Lawal could barely even walk.
“My body was just burning up,” Lawal said. “I needed a break. My body was burning up in the fights. I didn’t know what was going on.
“When I fought Jiri, I felt good, but when the third round hit, I hit a damn wall. I didn’t know what the hell was wrong with me. Same thing when I fought Liam. I felt like my body just wasn’t there.”
During his first four months as a retired fighter, however, Lawal began to feel better. He was able to start jogging again, and sparred in late September. He said he even was able to go for a swim, even though he considers himself a terrible swimmer. Lawal said he surprisingly felt so good that he started to ponder stepping back into the cage one more time.
“Maybe this rest helped me,” Lawal said.
“I feel pretty damn good. My resting heart rate is 32 beats per minute. I’m in damn good shape. My blood pressure is good, everything is good. I feel great.”
Lawal, who recently took on a coaching role at American Top Team in south Florida, is confident that Bellator 233 will most likely be his last fight. Could he step back in there again? Crazier things have happened, Lawal said, but he has no plans to go on any sort of actual run in a promotion.
“I’m not out there trying to win a belt,” Lawal said. “Never say never, but I wouldn’t bet on me coming back really. I’m pretty sure I’m done. If something crazy happens, like, ‘Hey Mo, we’ll offer you a $1 million fight against a guy that can’t walk, run, hop, jog or punch back,’ I’m hopping out of retirement and whooping his ass.
“Once I’m done, I’m done — unless it’s for an exhibition or something like that. Something fun. I’m not trying to train for no Olympic type thing, hell no.”