"He's a tough kid, man. I put a lot of pressure on him. I wrestled him; I had to grind him out. He wouldn't stop. I could have stood with him, but that night was a tribute to the wrestlers and we are trying to save Olympic Wrestling, so I went in there and wrestled his ass
He quit because he couldn't see. His left eye was pretty damn bad and it was bleeding into his eye. He couldn't see because blood was getting into it. I didn't know it was cut up like that. I know it was swelling up, but then it was bleeding all over; it was pretty bad," stated Bellator light heavyweight contender King Mo Lawal, who talked about his recent 3rd round TKO victory over Jacob Noe, his future plans and much more. Check it out!
PC: Congratulations on the 3rd round knockout of Jacob Noe. You texted me right before the fight and said you were gonna wrestle the hell out of him and then make him quit, and that's what happened. Tell us about it.
KM: He's a tough kid, man. I put a lot of pressure on him. I wrestled him; I had to grind him out. He wouldn't stop. I could have stood with him, but that night was a tribute to the wrestlers and we are trying to save Olympic Wrestling, so I went in there and wrestled his ass.
PC: When you went to get instructions from the ref, he extended his hand to shake your hand. Was that surprising to you given all of the pre-fight talk?
KM: I was a little surprised, but at the same time, he is about the competition. He is all about the competition. I talked to him a little bit afterwards and I apologized to him about the talk and he apologized to me if he had offended me in any way. But he is all about the competition and when the competition started, he was cool. Once it's fight time, everything else goes out the window.
PC: Is it a situation that was personal for you, but once you got the fight out of the way, it turned into a mutual respect thing?
KM: The more and more that it came closer to fight time, I started to realize that it was a bunch of people that had nothing to do with it doing the talking and instigating things. It was a misunderstanding, you know what I'm saying? We hashed it out afterwards and took care of everything.
PC: My boy, who was watching the fight with me, didn't realize how close you were with Babalu until they showed the backstage footage and he was surprised by the fact that seeing him lose hurt you like that. What is your relationship with Babalu?
KM: Man, me and Babalu go way back. I met Babalu before I started fighting. He came to "The Training Center" and wrestled with me and Daniel [Cormier] and worked on technique for MMA, and ever since then, we been cool. I helped him train for a lot of his fights; Sokoudjou, Mike Whitehead, Mousasi and a few others. He has always been cool, man, so to see him go out like that hurt me.
PC: You really wanted to rough him up and use your ground and pound. Tell us about the plan going in and how you felt the fight played out?
KM: I just felt like I was controlling him, you know what I'm saying, and I grinded him out and put that pressure on him. I made him carry my weight and kneed him to the body a few times and just controlled the pace.
PC: The knee to the body was a new weapon you showcased. Is that something that you have been working on?
KM: Yeah, I have been working on it for a while now, but I was never able to use it because usually I'm not fighting against the cage. When he tried to wall walk, I put pressure on him and I think I kneed him about two or three times, but two times was real, real solid.
PC: I wanted to hear what type of instructions Jeff Mayweather was giving you in between rounds, but they kept going to commercial. What was Jeff telling you in between rounds?
KM: He was just telling me to keep my hands up, don't load up, move, and look for the counters. The counters were there. The plan was to counter him, but I started noticing that he wasn't being aggressive and I wasn't going forward. I didn't want to fall into anything trying to be aggressive or countering him, so I was just like, "If he's gonna back up like that, I'm gonna shoot on him." In the 3rd round, I tried to land a "Doom" punch. I didn't land it that good, but it hurt him a little bit. I hit him with a good jab I believe and that hurt him and then I took him down and finished him off.
PC: Just to be clear, was it a TKO referee stoppage or a verbal submission?
KM: He quit because he couldn't see. His left eye was pretty damn bad and it was bleeding into his eye. He couldn't see because blood was getting into it. I didn't know it was cut up like that. I know it was swelling up, but then it was bleeding all over; it was pretty bad. He said, "I can't see ref. I can't see nothing." And then I just stopped throwing punches.
PC: Huge announcement right after your fight that Rampage Jackson will be fighting Tito Ortiz. Were you even shocked by that or did you know about it beforehand?
KM: That was a surprise to me too because I thought it was gonna be Roy Jones vs. Rampage. I had no idea, man, because Roy Jones was there. He had his bodyguards there. At first I didn't see Tito and then when I left the cage, I saw Tito walking around backstage, but then I saw Cyborg, so I just thought Tito was there to support Rampage or something. After my fight, I saw him going down to the cage and I was like, "Okay, damn cool."
PC: Are you trying to get on the November pay-per-view?
KM: Whatever they want to do, man, I'm down. I'm just waiting on their call.
PC: You have been telling people about Ben Askren for a long time. What did you think of his performance?
KM: His performance was on point. I think he landed 248 punches and got hit 3 times. People want to say they want to see him face other wrestlers. What they don't realize is he would do the same thing to these other wrestlers because he is an Olympic-level wrestler. He is a true world-class wrestler. The rest of those guys are like college level wrestlers or high school wrestlers at best. They have no chance against him. People don't realize how easy it would be for him against another wrestler because he is trained for every situation. If I get a high crotch and he shoot out, I will do a crack back. If he tries to break, I'll cut the corner and drive through you. If he tries to hop on one leg, I'll run the pipe and then get you down. We kind of wrestlers are kind of, if you try to do that to me, I can hop on one leg, cut the corner, and push the head down. So the things a college level wrestler would attempt on Ben Askren, Ben has been seeing it his whole life. The guy that's never wrestled before is unpredictable and awkward, so they should be giving Ben more problems and they are not. It's like boxers fighting boxers. They know what to expect, but when a boxer faces a brawler with no technique, they don't know what to expect, so anything can happen. They will do something you never seen before.
PC: Ricardo Mayorga and Vernon Forrest.
KM: Exactly, or Carlos Mausa against Vivian Harris. People say shit like, "Jay Hieron almost beat him," but that fight was like a year ago.
PC: Ben hadn't been training MMA long when he fought Jay either.
KM: Exactly. He is a lot different now as a fighter. He is more confident and more mature. He got ground and pound now and elbows and he is just so much more complete. People just hate, but they don't know the difference. They think that college wrestling is world-class wrestling, but it's not; it's college class wrestling.
PC: What was the celebration after the fight?
KM: Well, I said what I was going to do was drag him to the deep end and drown him. So he started swimming and he started drowning. I can't swim good, so that was my swimming impersonation. And then I started drowning. I ain't no swimmer like that, so that was my interpretation of it.
PC: I thought it was a good look for you to shout out Kevin Jackson being that you used a lot of the tools that I'm sure he taught you. What has he meant to you and your career?
KM: He has helped me out a lot. Coach Jackson is a mentor of mine and I just feel like I owed it to him because I did everything he taught me. Granted, it wasn't as pretty as it used to be, but it's still effective.
PC: Congrats again on a helluva performance; best of luck capturing that title. Give me some closing thoughts.
KM: I'm just looking forward to bouncing back with another victory and getting this belt. That's all that I'm looking forward to right now.
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]