Eddie Goldman is the host and producer of the No Holds Barred international podcast, the publisher of the No Holds Barred blog, and a senior contributing editor at the ADCC News.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

No Holds Barred: King Mo 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Bellator MMA fighter "King" Mo Lawal.

His next fight will be Friday, September 5, on the Bellator 123 card at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, on the territory of the sovereign nation of the Mohegan Tribe.

Originally scheduled to face jiu-jitsu ace Tom DeBlass, his opponent was changed due to an injury suffered by DeBlass that caused him to withdraw from this fight. His new opponent in this light heavyweight bout will be Marcus Sursa, who had been a Texas state high school wrestling champion and has been fighting in MMA for several years.

We spoke with "King" Mo Lawal July 30 at a Bellator media day at Dave and Buster's in New York, before his new opponent had been named.

His last fight was the main event of the Bellator pay-per-view of May 17, 2014, when he lost a close and controversial three-round decision to Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, in the Bellator season 10 light heavyweight tournament final.

Asked about that fight, he said, "I thought I won. Granted it wasn't a great performance, because if you watched the fight, I was slipping and sliding. I couldn't hold my footing. I don't know what it is with the canvas, but hopefully they change it. It altered my game plan, altered everything. Because leading up to the fight, they told me they were going to change the canvas and add more grip to it, and it never happened. So I had to stick to wrestling, and alter my game plan."

He added, "I think Bjorn had something to do with it, the decision. Who knows? But I'm glad he's gone. I'm glad we got Scott Coker in the mix." (Here he was referring to former Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney, who was replaced in June by new Bellator president Scott Coker.)

We also discussed his training at American Top Team; more on his views on Scott Coker; his discussions and training with Olympic gold medalist freestyle wrestler Kevin Jackson, who coached Mo at the U.S. Olympic Training Center and is now head wrestling coach at Iowa State; his training with many high level boxers; a little bit about what is going on today in pro boxing; and much more.

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