“King Mo” To Dana White: Give “Mayhem” Another Chance
Strikeforce vet discusses helping Machida prepare for Jones
By Kelsey Mowatt
While the odds makers and most MMA pundits are predicting Jon Jone’s reign as light-heavyweight champion will continue this Saturday, when he faces Lyoto Machida at UFC 140, “King Mo” Lawal is cautioning against writing the former champ off. Lawal recently returned from a training stint in Brazil, where he was brought in to help Machida prepare for his December 10th title fight, and the Strikeforce vet was clearly impressed with what he saw.
“He has great movement; he’s a good athlete that can move really well,” Lawal recently told FCF, when asked why he believes Machida could regain the light-heavyweight belt Saturday. “He’s really unpredictable too. He does stuff that a lot of people don’t do but it’s all calculated.”
Of course, one of the major reasons Lawal was brought in by Machida’s camp was due to the light-heavyweight’s renowned wrestling skills. Jones is also an experienced wrestler, and many believe that the powerful fighter’s takedowns could be a deciding factor in the fight.
“Yeah, his wrestling’s improved,” Lawal noted about Machida. “Your wrestling is always going to improve when you have someone working well with you, but I definitely noticed that his wrestling’s improved. We’ll just see how he puts it together come fight time.”
The trip came as news surfaced that Lawal will return to action on January 7th, at Strikeforce’s upcoming event in Las Vegas. Just today, the promotion announced that Lawal will fight the undefeated Lorenz Larkin.
“Brazil was great man,” the former Strikeforce light-heavyweight champ noted. “It was a bit of different experience because Lyoto is a true martial artist. So I got a chance to see how he does things. He’s really organized and has a great team around him. I met some really cool people and some up-and-coming fighters out there and I’d go again.”
One of Lawal’s former training partners, Jason “Mayhem” Miller, has also been in the news of late, due to the stoppage loss he suffered against Michael Bisping last Saturday. While many characterized the fight as a dominant and impressive win for Bisping, UFC President Dana White went on record stating that the bout was one of the promotion’s most one-sided ever.
“I heard Mayhem won a round?” said Lawal, who conceded that he didn’t “really see the fight” because he was watching the Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito bout. “Chris Leben versus Anderson Silva was probably one of the most lopsided beatings in history. Everything Anderson threw landed. That’s a lopsided beating. Maybe people are forgetting about other fights.”
After the TUF 14 card, White reportedly offered no guarantee that Miller would be back for another Octagon appearance, citing the fighter’s 2005 loss to George St. Pierre as another poor performance with the promotion.
“Give him a chance man,” Lawal stated. “That was his first fight back and his first fight in a while. Come on. Give him a chance. If you look at his stats, people who haven’t fought in over eight months, they usually lose their first fight when they come back. So for him to fight Bisping, who’s a top ten fighter, come on man. I think you have to give him another chance. Mayhem’s a fighter.”
“Mayhem normally doesn’t get tired,” Lawal added. “I figure the weight cut was hard for him, because he hasn’t weighed under 185 in a while, it could have been the adrenaline dump; he hasn’t fought in a while. I don’t know, but the Mayhem I know doesn’t get tired.”