“Yeah, man, I was backstage chillin with Chael and talking to some people. I’m about to leave, Quinton walks in, and I don’t know, he was talking to somebody, then he looks at me... when I fought him, he didn’t say not a motherfucking word when we were selling the fight. He stayed quiet. But with Chael, he's wanting to talk when I came around because we not fighting. When we were fighting each other, he wasn’t talking,” stated Bellator heavyweight contender King Mo Lawal, who talked about a recent run-in with Rampage Jackson and his upcoming showdown with Ryan Bader. Check it out!
PC: What did you think of the first round of the heavyweight tournament, the fight between Chael Sonnen and Rampage?
KM: I’ll tell you like this, I thought Chael fought good. I heard Quinton say Chael fought like a bitch. Well, if that’s fighting like a bitch, then let me fight like a bitch the rest of my career because Chael didn’t get hit, he got takedowns, and he controlled the whole fight. He controlled the pace, distance, range and time. Quinton didn’t do nothing but look at him and swing and miss wildly. What does that say?
PC: Rampage tends to say after his fights if a guy didn’t stand and trade with him, they either fought him like a bitch or didn’t fight like a man. Is that act old to you now?
KM: It’s been old. It’s been old since day one, but here’s the thing, you got some fans out there that still like it. They still buy into that same De La Hoya bullshit, “I’m in the best shape of my life, I done started training hard again, and blah, blah, blah.” We gonna hear the same shit in the next fight and the fight afterwards of how he’s finally focused and this and that. It’s tired, man. Maybe Bellator can book a boxer and they can fight him. He wants to fight a guy that’s going to stand in front of him and not shoot. Maybe Quinton should fight somebody that’s going to stand right in front of him. Maybe Bellator can book somebody like Tyrone Spong to do a kickboxing match in the cage with him.
PC: Were you hoping for a trilogy with Rampage or were you glad to see him lose just because you don’t like him?
KM: Man, it shouldn’t be no trilogy. I won two fights, but they cheated the first time. What’s the point of me fighting Quinton now? There is no point in me fighting Quinton. What’s he going to do for me? It’s a check; if they want me to fight him, I’ll fight him, but I don’t see what fighting him is going to do for me.
PC: You actually almost did have another fight with him, but it was unofficial. What went down at the Sonnen-Rampage weigh-ins between you and Rampage?
KM: Yeah, man, I was backstage chillin with Chael and talking to some people. I’m about to leave, Quinton walks in, and I don’t know, he was talking to somebody, then he looks at me and was like, “Yeah bitch, when I see you, it’s on. Fuck you, I’m gonna get revenge.” I’m like, “Don’t worry about me, worry about Chael. You talking all that shit, what you gon do? I’m right here, man, what’s up?” He goes, “Man, fuck you. I’m gonna handle business,” and then a lot of barking. I was like, “That’s it?” I looked through my phone for a minute, waiting a minute or two, I knew nothing was going to happen, looked around, I knew nothing was going to happen, so I just left. He literally didn’t say nothing else to me after that. I think something's wrong with him. I think he wants to seem cool and then try to shake Chael by trying to look like he’s tough. Think about it, when I fought him, he didn’t say not a motherfucking word when we were selling the fight. He stayed quiet. But with Chael, he's wanting to talk when I came around because we not fighting. When we were fighting each other, he wasn’t talking.
PC: You obviously have your own business to handle in May. I don’t think I noticed the size difference between you and Ryan Bader until you guys were in the cage together at that Bellator event. You’ve competed at heavyweight before, so I’m sure the size difference doesn’t bother you, but what are your expectations headed into that fight?
KM: I’m not worried about no size, man. Right now, I’ve been sparring with Bryant Jennings, getting my ass whooped. He’s bigger. I’m used to it, man. I’ll find a way to win. I’ll have a game plan set. I’ll be in tip top shape. I can wrestle with him, I can stand with him. It would be different if he could push me around. He probably got more muscles, but me getting pushed around, it don’t happen. He ain’t going to push me around. I’m going to go out there and beat him; handle business.
PC: Do you see a difference in Ryan Bader the Bellator version of him as opposed to the UFC version or do you see the same fighter?
KM: He’s a smarter fighter, he’s gotten more experience, and he’s more comfortable with his style now. He’s more composed. He’s grown because he’s a vet now, know what I’m saying, so we watched him grow up. He’s solid. He’s making less and less mistakes. He doesn’t take as many risks. Before he used to take risks that weren’t needed; now his risks are more calculated. He fights smarter.
PC: May is going to mark a long layoff for you. You haven’t fought since March 31st of 2017. You had a procedure done to your hip. Is staying in the gym enough to combat the layoff and how is the hip doing?
KM: Man, look, I’m always in the gym. I don’t have to work my way back into it at all. There are people that be in the gym and they are in the gym not doing nothing but playing around. When I’m in the gym, I’m in the gym with a purpose every day. I’m getting things done. I always have goals I accomplish. I stay sparring, I stay sharp, and the people I spar with are top notch. I’m always working on something and adding to my skill set. You see guys come off of a layoff and come back and look good and you see guys come off of a layoff and look bad, but I think I’m going to look good because I’m always working on stuff. My hip...I don’t even know how I competed with my hip like it was before because literally I was in pain just walking for years. It would pop and grind. It hurt to put my shoes on, it hurt to put my pants on and take them off. It hurt to walk upstairs, downstairs, to throw a jab because it was my right hip. When I push off my back foot, my bone would hit. Any time I did a side step or push off or any type of athletic movement, my bones would jam or they would grind. It was painful, man. I was in so much pain when I rematched Quinton. I put it like this, a few days after that fight, I was in Orlando for that WrestleMania thing that weekend, I could barely walk. I was struggling to walk, dawg. It was bad.
PC: Having the ability to maneuver well and having good hips is the cornerstone both offensively and defensively for wrestlers. You are a wrestler and you are facing a wrestling. Are you confident that your hip will be where it needs to be at in May?
KM: Ah man, I’m beyond where I need to be. I’m already ahead right now. It’s a big difference. It feels so good, it makes me want to get my other hip done even though it don’t need it. Ain’t no pain in it anymore, no swelling; it’s just solid, dawg. It’s titanium. It’s solid, man.
PC: Are you expecting shots and takedown attempts from Bader because he’s been trying to show balance lately?
KM: Man, I think when it’s all said and done, he’s going to go out there and throw a big right hand, try to use his size, he’ll throw some big kicks and go for a takedown. All of his fights are the same; big punch, big kick, takedowns, ground and pound…wash, rinse and repeat. That’s all he gonna try to do. If I just stop one of those, it’s going to throw everything off. If I just stop one of those big right hands, it’s going to offset everything because his offense comes off of that big right hand. His wrestling comes off of his big right hand. If I stop that, what’s he gonna do?
PC: When I look at this tournament and the participants in it, it’s weird because you like Chael Sonnen, you like Roy Nelson and you have trained with him, you’ve always wanted to fight Fedor out of respect for his legacy, not sure how you feel about Frank Mir or Matt Mitrione, but it seems Rampage was the only guy you didn’t like, so the only fighters left are guys who you think are okay guys.
KM: Mir and Mitrione are cool. Everybody in the whole tournament is cool. The only one I don’t care much for is Quinton. For the most part, everybody is cool. I wouldn’t want to fight Roy or Chael because I’m cool with them, but it is what it is, mane.
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]