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Why all the Hate?


King Mo

Before trekking north from covering Strikeforce Houston, I had a chance to read some blogs and forums related to the Strikeforce show from Saturday.  Big MistakeÖ  The outrage over referee John Schorle is not without some merit and the last knee shot from KJ Noons against Jorge Gurgel may have warranted a possible no contest but was the fight really in doubt at that point? And shouldnít the fight have been stopped prior to the knee anyway? From where I was seated it looked like the knee missed but others have said it landed.  I will choose to believe and side with Jorge Gurgel who made no excuses and refused to take anything away from the performance of KJ Noons at the post fight press conference.  If Jorge hadnít already earned the respect of everyone in the room for his fighting style, he certainly earned it with his post-fight comments.

All of this brings me to the reason I wanted to write this column.  There was a ton of venom spewing from the keyboard warriors and one loud mouthed cage warrior about former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion King Mo Lawal.  The fan rants raged anywhere from dissing his cage entrance to his lack of ability as a fighter in every way.  Before we start crying freedom of speech, I will never deny that and we are all entitled to our opinions but I canít help but wonder what motivated such an outburst of hate for a man who had just lost his first fight after seven professional wins and the Strikeforce light-heavyweight championship.  So now itís time to express my freedom of speech with a rant against the hate for King Mo.

Is Mo extravagant in his entrance to the ring/cage? Absolutely, but he realizes this is entertainment as well as combat and that is his way of entertaining himself and the crowd. Was Mo fast-tracked a bit to a lofty position by Strikeforce?  Possibly, but why would he avoid the opportunity to earn some cash and raise his profile and persona while the opportunity was available.  Lawal is a world class wrestler and had dominated his opponents leading to his Strikeforce debut.  When given the opportunity to fight for the gold King Mo stepped up and executed a perfect game plan and dominated the seemingly invincible Gegard Mousasi to take the strap. Muhammad Lawal was now King and Champion so now people seemed to automatically assume he had anointed himself as the greatest fighter on the planet, once again an untrue statement.  Despite being confident in his abilities, King Mo declared himself the underdog to the more experienced Feijao Cavalcante in his first title defense.  As always Mo said he would win the fight, what champion fighter thinks he is going to lose

Then we have the infamous tweet that supposedly came from part time actor, part time fighter Rampage Jackson regarding King Mo.  Weíd rather not dignify the ridiculous drivel by posting the content but needless to say it was less than complimentary and spewed even more venom than what came from the forums and blogs.  Rampage should understand more than anyone else that anything can happen inside the cage and save his uneducated commentary for his movie career.

King Mo has always been an articulate soft spoken person in his interviews and discussions of the fight game.  Behind the over the top persona of his entrances, Lawal is truly a student of the game and studies the game and fighters all the time, even to the point where FIGHT! Magazine enlists Mo to offer his analysis and breakdowns of big fights.  When is the last time Rampage was asked to articulate his opinion of a fight for a respected MMA publication?  King Mo used the strategic approach in his title fight with Mousasi and was able to discover a flaw in Mousasiís game and exploited it to perfection.  The fight with Feijao did not have a positive outcome for King Mo as he was beaten by the better man that night.  In approaching him after the loss with conciliatory words, Mo had a big smile for me, shook my hand and said itís all good and that heíd be back.  I believe that King Mo is the kind of fighter who will take away more from a loss than a victory and will certainly learn from this setback and return to the cage better and stronger.

So until then keep hating on King Mo while heís back at the gym training and working on how heís going to prove you all wrong.  And Mr. Jackson, you might want to head to the gym so you can avoid a similar fate against Machida.


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