Bellator 134 will go down on Friday night, and one of the card’s more intriguing match-ups will feature “King Mo” Lawal taking on Cheick Kongo. Yes. Kongo, the UFC vet and powerful heavyweight. After a scrap between Bobby Lashley and James Thompson fell through, Lawal agree to move up from 205 to face the 6’4 tall, fighter.
Now, as any hardcore MMA fan will note, Lawal has fought at heavyweight in the past. But that was several years ago, and before Lawal had established himself as a top tier, light-heavyweight and before he laid claim to Strikeforce’s title.
So why has Lawal decided to fight Kongo? At a time when he’s coming off consecutive stoppage victories while fighting in Bellator’s light-heavyweight division? And is 3-1 in his last 4 fights (recall his controversial decision loss to “Rampage” Jackson during that time) ?
Well, while speaking to MMA Junke.com recently, here is what Lawal had to say about his decision to face Kongo:
“The opportunity was at heavyweight, so I decided to take it,” Lawal said. “I’ll fight at heavyweight; I’ll fight at 205. I’m a money-weight. I’ll take any fight, anywhere that I can make. If I can make the weight and the opportunity is there, that’s my weight class. That’s how I see it.”
That is definitely the kind of thing promoters like to hear, and a lot of fans are certainly down with fighters that offfer a “why not”, when it comes to accepting fights.
Now it remains to be seen what kind of strategy Lawal employs against the much bigger, longer and likely more powerful Kongo.
“I haven’t check me weight much because all I worry about doing is feeling strong and ready,” Lawal said. “Skill and technique takes over size. Skill, tactics and technique is what wins fights. My goal is just to beat Kongo and then see what happens from there.”
One would think those “tactics” will likely include Lawal trying to take Kongo down, considering “King Mo’s” wrestling pedigree, but I guess we’ll see.
Bellator 134 will be hosted by the Mohegan Sun Arena on Friday in Uncasville, Connecticut. In the main event, light-heavyweight champ Emanuel Newton will take on Liam McGeary.
The main card will be broadcast on SPIKE.