Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal is one of the fastest rising prospects in mixed martial arts.
Making his professional debut less than a year ago, the former Division I All-American at wrestling powerhouse Oklahoma State has jumped out to a 4-0 record in Sengoku with wins over veterans Travis Wiuff, Fabio Silva, Yukiya Naito and Ryo Kawamura.
Now, Lawal will make his American MMA debut against Mark Kerr at M-1 Global: Breakthrough next Friday in Kansas City. The event will air live on HDNet.
"If he gives me a chance to kill him, I'm going to go for the kill," Lawal said. "If he tries to survive, I'm going to go for the win then try to finish him off. I'm going to try to win impressively. I aim to please the crowd and myself."
A student of the game, Lawal has finished three of his four fights by TKO. Only his fight against Kawamura went to the scorecards, partly because Lawal tore his ACL while training. He expects to be 100 percent by mid-September.
"I beat Kawamura up with one leg pretty much," he said.
"They told me I'd be out for six months but I've been hitting it hard in rehab. Four-and-a-half months out I'm gonna fight. It's all good, ahead of schedule."
Lawal appeared on this week's edition of Lights Out Radio and talked about a variety of subjects, including his feud with Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, his love of professional wrestling, his famous entrance and how he'd match up with fighters like Anderson Silva and Fedor Emelianenko.
His fighting ability aside, Lawal had gained a following for his unique ring entrances. Not only have they made him popular in America, he's becoming a star in Japan as well.
"My queen's got rhythm," Lawal said. "Sengoku picks them and they're on point. They ask me what I want and I tell them I want girls who look good and have rhythm and they find them."
While gaudy ring entrances aren't the norm in the U.S., Lawal said he expects to bring the entertainment with him to Kansas City for his fight.
"I believe that's going to happen," he said. "I'm going to have my queen's there. I'm going to have different queens for America. I believe they will be Asian, but the next time I'm in America I'm gonna change them to a different color, get some black girls next time.
"My entrance is me. I can't see myself just walking to the ring and not dancing and having people with me. I'm going to have girls for my entrance. You're going to see it all. It's going down."
Lawal also commented on his public feud with former UFC light-heavyweight champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.
Here's what Lawal had to say about that:
"Me and him don't get along. People out there talking are idiots because they don't know the whole story. Rampage has been disrespectful to me on numerous occasions. I'm not going to sit there and take it. Everybody else can. Not me. I made fun of him back and he didn't like he. He claims he didn't know who I was but the dude met me numerous amount of times. We had pictures together.
"I met him in Ohio. He came to Oklahoma City and I met him. And that's when he was disrespectful to me and my people, my brother, my homeboys and he was just kind of acting stuck up.
"People were making it seem like, 'oh, Mo called out Rampage.' Why would I call out Rampage? What would I have to gain from that, calling him out out of the blue for no reason? I'm not a disrespectful person (but) if you do something to me, I'm gonna do it back to you. I'm not gonna be malicious and come out there and start saying stuff, but that's Rampage. I guess he felt weird with me being around and had to say something so I said it back."
Lawal grew up a big pro wrestling fan and even said he was offered a try-out with WWE following the 2004 Olympic Trials.
"They offered me a tryout after the 2004 Olympic trials and dammit, I was gonna take it," he said. "I liked it, I had a good time. It was cool and I was going to do it, but there was something in me that said, 'nah, just keep wrestling a little bit longer then go into fighting,' and that's what I did."
In fact, Lawal pulled out some vintage WCW when discussing what he might do next.
Lawal also is a student of the game, able to analyze how he'd match up with a given fighter on a moments notice, as he was able to with UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva:
"I think I would do real good against Anderson. It's MMA, but I feel like I could beat anybody. The thing with Anderson is that you have to keep him guessing. You can't let him control the pace and get comfortable with his movements. You watch all his fights and he moves so well. The first minute and a half he doesn't do much, he feels you out, finds the tempo and then when he finds it then he starts coming at you. If I was gonna fight Anderson, I'd have a weird, irregular rhythm where he feels uncomfortable attacking me. I'd change levels and make him guess. I'd keep him guessing. I'd mix up my strikes and my takedowns. With someone like that, if he gets comfortable and he sits there, he'll tee off on you. If you keep him guessing and keep him uncomfortable, you'll have a better chance at winning."
And former PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko, who Lawal campaigned to fight prior to Affliction pulling the plug on its "Trilogy" show:
"I felt like with me being smaller and moving better, I'd give Fedor a lot of problems. If I took him down, all I'd have to watch out for is the armbar and the rear-naked choke, that's about it. If I'm not getting submitted by Fabricio Werdum and Dean Lister and Mayhem Miller, then he's not going to submit me."
Lawal also commented on the fight between his training partner, Renato "Babalu" Sobral and Gegard Mousasi.
"Babalu is a better fighter than what he showed," Lawal said. "He got taken down by a kickboxer which is weird to me. He spent a lot of time on his standup and I don't think he spent enough time working on his takedowns. Mousasi can be taken down and Babalu could just control him and grind out a five round victory or stop him on cuts, but Mousasi took advantage of what Babalu gave him and pounded him."
As for a fight with Mousasi potentially happening, Lawal, a free agent, said signing with Strikeforce is a "possibility."
But when it comes to signing with a promotion, Lawal said he wants to go somewhere where he can stay busy.
"You can go to the UFC and fight two, three times a year, but I'm looking to do more than that," he said. "If I'm going to go to the UFC, I want them to want me and I guess they don't think I'm good enough yet and they think I'm all hype or I'm like Sokoudjou. I want to go to a place where I'm wanted and where they need me to come in and do some damage. I don't want to go to a place where I'm going to be in the background."
While Lawal said he isn't going to abandon his wrestling skills like many have before him, he will continue to try to diversify his game.
"My submission defense is raw," he said. "As a wrestler, I'm not going to go out there and start submitting people. I'm just going to go out there and, if I get taken down, which the chances of that are slim, I'll work on getting back up to my feet. If I'm on top of you, I'm going to try to finish you with strikes or work to a strong position and maybe go for a kimura or a north-south choke or something like that or pound you. On my feet, I'm working on stuff. I've been working on my hands, it's just that sometimes, I'm not going to get into a battle and trade with someone when I don't (have to). I'm going to stick and move, make you move, fake. The thing about me is that I can mix up my strikes, my kicks, my takedowns, the same with the clinch. You never know what I'm going to attack you with. I'll keep you guessing."
But as a wrestler, he has the advantage is most fights of being able to dictate where the fight happens.
"The thing about me is that I can control where the fight goes," he said. "That's the good thing about me and I'm going to try to find different ways of doing that."
To listen to the full interview with Lawal, click here.
Lights Out Radio, presented proudly by MMAForReal.com, can be heard live each Thursday at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT at www.mmaforreal.com and www.lightsoutradio.com. Lights Out Radio also produces live post-fight review shows following the conclusion of major MMA shows.