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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

No Holds Barred: King Mo Lawal 

On this audio edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with mixed martial arts fighter and former elite freestyle and college wrestler "King" Mo Lawal.

"King" Mo was victorious in his most recent fight, a first-round knockout over jiu-jitsu and grappling world champion Roger Gracie on the September 10 Strikeforce show in Cincinnati, in a light heavyweight bout.

In another candid interview, we spoke with "King" Mo by phone Tuesday night about this fight, which was his first in over a year because of a knee injury and subsequent surgery. He explained his strategy in this fight and why he, a world-class wrestler facing a world-class grappler, wanted it to stay standing. We discussed the interaction of grappling and striking in mixed martial arts, and the aesthetics of watching mixed-style fights vs. those with pure styles. We discussed his uncertain future in Strikeforce after this victory, and the poor attendance and TV ratings for what turned out to be an entertaining card. We also discussed the knockout victory on this same show by his longtime friend, teammate, and training partner, heavyweight Daniel Cormier, who stopped Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva in the first round. Both "King" Mo and Daniel Cormier were also champions in the now-defunct Real Pro Wrestling organization, and we discussed what led to its demise. We also discussed how he might do in a fight with UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, the recent controversies at the 2011 World Wrestling Championships, the upcoming Floyd Mayweather-Victor Ortiz and "Canelo" Alvarez-Alfonso Gomez fights, and much more.

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