King Mo Lawal will challenge Gegard Mousasi for the Strikeforce light heavyweight title this Saturday night in what could be the most intriguing fight of the night. You have a very young an largely unproven fighter in Lawal going up against a very experienced fighter in Mousasi. However, the majority of Mousasi's career has taken place as a welterweight and middleweight. In fact, this will only be his second light heavyweight fight if I remember correctly. That was the fight in which he defeated Renato "Babalu" Sobral for the Strikeforce light heavyweight title.
Mousasi brings a career record of (28-2-1) into this fight with 17 of those wins via the TKO/KO variety. He also has nine wins via submission, so obviously he's a fairly well rounded fighter.
King Mo Lawal brings a career record of (6-0) with 5 of those wins via the TKO/KO variety. Lawal is a world class wrestler that's very explosive.
I know a lot of hype is surrounding both fighters, some warranted and some not in my opinion. I honestly think Mousasi is a bit overrated, probably even so in my rankings. However, that's due to a lot of the old guard falling out of the top ten than Mousasi really earning it with big wins. In fact, his biggest win is the Sobral win and that doesn't really hold that much weight in my opinion. I think Mousasi will be the smaller of the two fighters, and I don't think Mousasi can stop Lawal's takedowns if and when Lawal decides to take him down. Now obviously Mousasi's best chance of winning the fight is by knocking Lawal out on the feet, but again Lawal is going to take him down so I think the chances of that happening are slim. Once the fight goes to the ground, I don't think Mousasi can handle someone like Lawal on top of him. Mousasi has shown the ability to submit opponents from his back, but again none of them have the wrestling credentials that Lawal has..not even close. Plus, those two fighters had zero submission defense(Manhoef), or just fall into subs when they are winning fights(Kang). Does Lawal have good submission defense? We really don't know that, but he's been training with some of the best submission guys in the game. So I'll bank on that to keep him out of trouble in this fight.
My Prediction: Lawal via decision or TKO
SBN coverage of Strikeforce: Nashville on CBS