"I've watched him along the way when he was in K-1; watched him when he fought Bob Sapp and broke his arm. Seth is cool, you know what I'm saying. I see he's talking a little noise right now, but when I see him, he's not like that. So he can talk all he wants. I don't really care...He's unorthodox and he kicks real good and he has power, you know what I'm saying? The thing is, he will try that spinning shit; spinning backfist, spinning back kicks and wheel kicks, and spinning back elbows. I ain't having that no more. I'm gonna break that shit. You try some spinning shit on me, you're gonna fail...I'm putting all that spinning shit to rest," stated Bellator light heavyweight contender King Mo Lawal, who talked about his upcoming June 19 clash with Seth Petruzelli. Check it out!
PC: Mo, your fight is only a few weeks away on the 19th. How do you feel?
KM: I feel good, mayne. I have made a few changes in my training. I have been going to RYU to train on the weekends because of a situation at the other gym I was training at, but I have been going there to train with Roy Nelson, Ryan Martinez, and whoever else shows up.
PC: Coming off of the loss to Emanuel Newton, I'm sure you were happy to hear Bellator was doing the summer tournament so you wouldn't have to wait until next season to compete again.
KM: I heard that they were gonna do a few weight classes and I just crossed my fingers and hoped that 205 would be one of them. And then they said they were doing 205, 170, and heavyweight. I was all about it. I was hoping they could get me on; they got me on and now I just gotta go out there and do my job.
PC: You are matched against Seth Petruzelli. He's a pretty big guy for a light heavyweight and he has a good skill set. Have you watched a lot of Petruzelli along the way or are you just beginning to break him down a little bit?
KM: I've watched him along the way when he was in K-1; watched him when he fought Bob Sapp and broke his arm. Seth is cool, you know what I'm saying. I see he's talking a little noise right now, but when I see him, he's not like that. So he can talk all he wants. I don't really care.
PC: When you see a dude that you perceive as cool talking and saying some of the stuff Seth is saying, do you take it kind of personal or do you see it as him either promoting the fight or hyping himself up?
KM: I don't take nothing personal, you know what I'm saying, because this is fighting. If he was talking about my family or something, then that's different, but he ain't talking about my family; he just talking about the fight and it's a fight, so I'm ready, I'm in shape, and ready to go.
PC: You moved around for this camp, even going to get work with your old wrestling coach Kevin Jackson. Obviously you have worked with Jeff Mayweather and some others. How do you feel both physically and mentally after the work you received?
KM: I feel good, mayne. I feel great. I'm ready to fight. I've been going 5 5-minute rounds and I'm in real good shape. I'm pushing hard and working with Kevin Jackson went great; been doing my grappling with Sensei Roy and I'm feeling good.
PC: You work with pretty much all heavyweights. Does that help during fight time to be able to hold your opponents weight being that most light heavyweights rehydrate to heavyweight anyway?
KM: I just do it because it's the guys I work with, and as far as boxing and hands with my standup, I got guys that are a little smaller than me, but they are fast, so I'm getting in real good work.
PC: Do you feel like you have a lot to prove to the Bellator fans being that you didn't accomplish what you set out to accomplish during your first tournament with the company?
KM: All I gotta do is prove that I'm the best by going out there and winning and I'm gonna do that. I'm gonna win this tournament and then I'm gonna beat whoever has the belt at the time. Hopefully it's...what's that boy's name...Emanuel Newton, so I can erase this wrong and make it right and then defend the belt.
PC: I have got this question a lot, so I will pose it to you; you had to take a few weeks out of camp and go do some house shows for TNA Impact Wrestling. You actually got in about 4 matches. Do you feel that it had a positive or negative affect on your body and your training?
KM: You know, the funny thing is I came back in better shape (laughing). I don't know how, but I came back in better shape. Hitting mitts with Jeff, I was going longer and felt better in grappling and I honestly don't feel like I missed a step. Granted, I was doing pro wrestling, but they had us doing like 4 to 5 different workouts. It's hard to explain, but it's weird, man, because pro wrestling is hard and I was gone for 2 weeks, but I was in better shape. The Monday after my fight with Emanuel, I was back in the gym hitting mitts, shadowboxing, and grappling. I was doing all that stuff. I'm always in the gym and I'm always in shape. It's my office.
PC: You always say pro wrestling is tougher than MMA, so maybe that's why you feel as if you were in better shape because the MMA gym is more like your office and it's home to you as opposed to wrestling, where you're still learning on the job.
KM: Yeah, you're right. It comes easier for me. In pro wrestling, getting body slams, getting chopped, doing suplexes and taking suplexes, after it all, your body is feeling bad, but at the end of the day, it's all working out because your body just adjusts to it and works it off.
PC: You've always had respect for pro wrestlers, but it was from a fans point of view type of respect. After going through this entire process, do you have a newfound respect for those athletes?
KM: I have always respected them, but I have a big time respect for them now after the beatings I took and all of the workouts I went through, and them guys do it 2 or 3 times a week, traveling and doing matches, and it's hard on your body, man. That's why you see some of them guys walking all funny and stuff when they retire because their bodies are all beat up.
PC: Going back to your fight, what do you see as Seth Petruzelli's strengths?
KM: He's unorthodox and he kicks real good and he has power, you know what I'm saying? The thing is, he will try that spinning shit; spinning backfist, spinning back kicks and wheel kicks, and spinning back elbows. I ain't having that no more. I'm gonna break that shit. You try some spinning shit on me, you're gonna fail. That's the trend now, but that shit ain't gonna work on me no more. And granted, I got hit with it, but he just threw it. It's not like he saw a weakness and threw it in a calculated form. He just threw it because that's all he had with his back turned. But the spinning shit is what everybody is trying. It's the new trend. You know how MMA goes in trends. First everyone was boxing and kickboxing, then it was wrestling and Jiu Jitsu and everybody trying armbars and triangles, and then sprawl and brawl and then ground and pound, and now it's the spinning shit. I'm putting all that spinning shit to rest.
PC: Your Bellator debut in Oklahoma ended with you knocking your opponent out. Can fans expect the same on the 19th?
KM: Yeah, much of the same, probably a faster pace fight, and June 19th, mayne, it's a black holiday and it's a special date for everybody down south.
PC: You are from Dallas, which is close to Oklahoma, and of course you did your college stint in Oklahoma. They are being devastated with tornadoes right now. Any words of encouragement for the state of Oklahoma?
KM: You know, granted, my setback isn't as big as theirs, but just like Oklahoma, I'm gonna pick myself back up and get back up and get back to work and get back to rebuilding. The same type of tornado situation happened to Oklahoma back in 1999 and that place was devastated and they got together, picked up the pieces, and rebuilt themselves. It's the same thing that's going on with me is the same thing that's going on with Oklahoma. Oklahoma is trying to rebuild right now and they will.
PC: I appreciate the time my man. We will speak again leading up to the fight. Is there anything else you want to add or anyone you want to thank before I let you go?
KM: I want to thank Roy Nelson, Nate Vasquez, Fareed Samaad, Jeff Mayweather, RYU Gym, Alden and MMA Elite. I'm gonna start training at RYU so I gotta shout them out. I wanna shout out all of my family out there in Texas and all my boys, you and FightHype, you know what I'm saying, everybody at the Mayweather Gym and everybody out there doing something positive. I also wanna shout out Legacy Fighting; they put on a great show the other night! And of course my Bellator, TNA and OVW family!
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]