“King Mo” Lawal Says Joint Bellator and TNA Wrestling Deal Is a “Dream Come True”
By FCF Staff
Spike, Bellator and TNA Wrestling held a teleconference today to confirm that former Strikeforce light-heavyweight champ Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal has signed a new agreement that will see the fighter compete in both MMA and pro wrestling.
TNA Impact Wrestling is currently broadcast on Spike, and in 2013, the network will begin airing Bellator cards.
The news comes as Lawal continues serve out a nine month suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission, after he tested positive for the steroid Drostanolone, following his stoppage victory over Lorenz Larkin on January 7th.
In March, Lawal was released by Strikeforce and Zuffa, following well documented and controversial statements he directed towards NSAC Commissioner Pat Lundvall during a follow up hearing.
The former All-American wrestler and U.S. National Team member apologized for the comments shortly after, which prompted UFC President Dana White to hint that the fighter might be welcomed back to the organization.
While no terms of Lawal’s new deal with Spike were released today, the agreement’s partners revealed that the vet will begin wrestling under the TNA banner later this summer, and that he will start fighting for Bellator in 2013.
On the call were Spike President Kevin Kay, TNA Entertainment Dixie Carter , Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebeny, as well as the 31 year-old Lawal.
Here were some of the highlights.
Kay announced that Lawal will join TNA Impact Wrestling this summer and then Bellator in 2013, and added that he believes Spike is in a unique position to offer this kind of opportunity to athletes.
Rebney credited Lawal for being “a spectacular athlete” and “personality,” before he complimented Spike for putting together this kind of joint opportunity.
Carter added that she is “very excited” about bringing Lawal on board to TNA Wrestling, particularly because the Strikeforce vet is an accomplished fighter. The executive added that Lawal’s personality is “off the charts.”
Lawal said that the chance to wrestle professionally as well as continue on in MMA is a “dream come true.”
When asked how much training Lawal has done for professional wrestling, the fighter acknowledged that he’s not “really experienced” just yet, but added that he learned some techniques when he explored signing with the WWE in the past.
Carter relayed that Lawal will spend some time training with professional wrestlers to prepare for his TNA debut.
Lawal said he plans on competing in Bellator’s light-heavyweight tourney next year and added that “I will win that tournament.” The fighter added that it’s up to Rebney and Carter as to how the fighter will divide up his responsibilities between MMA and pro wrestling.
Rebney expressed confidence in the MMA fanbase that they will not be bothered by the fact that Lawal will be splitting his time between the two promotions.
Lawal said “the door’s closed” when asked to comment on recent statements UFC President Dana White made, relaying that he might be welcomed back to the Zuffa organization.
Kay assured that Lawal will not be spread too thin by working for both TNA and Bellator, and that all parties involved will work together to make sure that is the case.
Carter revealed that Lawal’s MMA career will be incorporated into the storyline of his pro wrestling career.
Lawal wouldn’t go into “particulars” regarding the terms of his new deal, and added that his new arrangement with Spike is a “better deal.”
Lawal added that he is still interested in fighting soon to be free agent Quinton Jackson.
Kay said “we’re going to use every resource we have” to sign the best fighters and wrestlers.
Lawal relayed that he doesn’t “think it’s going to be that hard at all” in terms of juggling the training responsibilities that will come with his wrestling and MMA responsibilities.
Rebney said there are no concerns that his pro wrestling career will conflict with his current suspension from the NSAC, but relayed that having the fighter recover from his knee injury is what’s most important right now.
Lawal said “I don’t care”, when asked if he’s worried about a possible backlash from MMA fans for getting involved in pro wrestling, and added that the deal will be good for both industries.