King Mo Lawal Welcomes Rampage to Join Bellator; Talks Respect in MMA

January 22, 2013
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King Mo Lawal at StrikeforceRespect is a funny word.

Not so much that whenever the word respect is used, hilarity ensues, but more because while the definition of respect can be found in a dictionary, it seems to mean something different for just about everybody.

Lately, the word respect has been used a lot in the world of MMA, particularly whenever former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson talks about his love-hate relationship with the his current employer. He’s said on numerous occasions that his fight at UFC on Fox 6 will be his last with them, and that has to do a lot with the lack of respect they’ve shown him and other fighters in the organization.

Jackson swears it’s not about money so much as it has to do with treatment of the fighters. The funny thing about respect is Rampage may not be wrong, at least in his own mind.

Respect is something that’s felt by each individual, and who are we to tell them that they have or have not been respected or should feel respected?

Fellow light heavyweight Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal understands Rampage’s beef with the UFC, but it has nothing to do with his own disdain for the promotion. As a matter of fact, Lawal may have no quarrels with the UFC at all, but he knows that there’s always more to a story than just what’s on the surface and if Jackson feels disrespected then there has to be a reason why.

“It’s like that with sports, period. All sports are sort of like that. Here’s the thing, a lot of fans can say what they want, but they don’t understand cause they’re just watching from the outside. They don’t really know what’s going on in the inside. All they do is speculate on Twitter and think they heard this, and they go to message boards and they hear information from message boards, but stuff goes on that they can’t comprehend,” Lawal told MMAWeekly Radio.

“If Rampage put it like that, he has a right to feel like that. Because obviously something must have happened to make him feel like that. I don’t know cause I’m not in his shoes, but I can’t tell him how to feel.”

It’s the quirky nature of the word respect that fueled Rampage’s comments when unleashing a recent tirade about the UFC. If he feels he’s been disrespected in some manner or fashion, that comes down to his own personal opinion whether it’s true or not.

In King Mo Lawal’s case, he expressed similar emotion after his release was handed down from Strikeforce in 2012. His exit from the promotion was anything but quiet. Lawal didn’t enjoy the way the higher ups at Zuffa (parent company to Strikeforce and the UFC) opted to let him go in such a public manner, and felt they took shots at him in a public forum.

With his new home at Bellator, where he debuts on Thursday night during the promotion’s second show on Spike TV, Bellator 86, Lawal feels like he’s found the respect he wanted and needed, and no one can say he didn’t have a point because again it came down to personal feelings.

“I like working with them because they respect me. Granted, everybody’s like, ‘you’re the biggest profile fighter they have.’ No, it’s not true. It’s just the fact that you don’t see Bjorn (Rebney) bashing his fighters; Bjorn’s been cool. He’s like Scott Coker in my eyes. Scott Coker has always been cool. Who do you see Scott Coker bash?” asked Lawal.

“I just like the respect they give me and the fighters.”

Some would see this as a direct shot at UFC president Dana White, who has never held his tongue when asked for his opinion about a particular fighter, fight or situation that’s going down. White is routinely revered for his candidness, where many other owners and league figureheads duck and dodge tough questions and respond with clichés and public relation approved rhetoric.

Whether the comments are aimed at White or not, Lawal is a happy man in his new home and welcomes a fighter the caliber of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, should he choose to jump ship and sign with Bellator.

“Hell yeah, if they want to pay him and show him respect and take care of him. Give him a pro wrestling deal too, yeah, throw him a little boxing in his contract, like mine. Hell yeah, Rampage can get his money,” said Lawal.

“Come fight where you feel like you’re respected, where you feel comfortable. I just want all fighters that have been in the game for a while to get their money, feel happy and feel comfortable and feel respected.”

Ultimately the decision lies with Jackson where his future will take him, but Lawal, who at one time had a very infamous feud with Rampage that’s now been squashed, says if he decides to make his home at Bellator, the door is already open and the welcome mat is rolled out.

“I don’t care where he goes, but if he wants to come to Bellator, hey that’s cool with me,” said Lawal. “He wants to fight at 205, let’s do it. He wants to fight at heavyweight, hey go ahead and do it.”

For his part, Lawal’s MMA career will pick up more than a year after his last trip to the cage when he steps into the Bellator fighting arena for the first time on Thursday night. It’s been a long time coming, and Lawal is ready to dust of his crown and take back his throne.

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  • Rob C.

    King Mo vs. Rampage would be the biggest headliner Bellator has ever had. Wouldn’t be surprised if Rampage goes that route. He can always come back to the UFC later if he is so inclined. Hard to say if he still wants to fight though.

  • mmaexpert

    It would be great move from Bellator if they sign Rampage, and put him in bellator’s new reality show with King Mo as coaches

  • I like Glover, great fighter but I hope Rampage leaves the UFC in great fashion. He’s had a long career in the sport. It’s a shame he lost the fight against Bader. His time just might be over though so best of luck to him in whatever else he chooses to do. He’s a real character and has other doors open for him I’m sure. Nothing against Bellator but I don’t want to see him there.

  • Sir_Roy

    I feel that Rampage loses then regains his ‘hunger’ a little too often along the way … he has gone from hot to cold too often throughout his career. Starting with his first title defense.

    He’s naturally strong with a lot of knockout power and a strong base … but seems allergic to the hard work and caliber of training needed on a regular basis to keep up with today’s ever improving MMA market and the constant evolution implicit in today’s athlete.

    Were he to love training as much as he loves his recreation, he’d have had a few more title defenses under his belt and far fewer losses accredited to his name IMHO.

    • kingkongbundy

      Your HO is just laughable. You sound so dumb. A typical MMA fan boy.

      1. His hunger? Only TUF noobs thought Rampage was a top fighter just because he KOed Chuck. Mind you, Rampage was pushed out of PRIDE.

      2. Rampage is naturally strong but KO power???? His KO power is so overrate. Other than Wandy and Chuck, two guys at the time they faced Rampage had no chin left, who else did Rampage KO in the UFC? He KOed some japanese cans in PRIDE. But even then was not considered a KO artist.

      3. Love training??? WTF??? What makes you think he doesn’t love training?????

      • Sir_Roy


        • Chris Ash

          Definitely a troll. The power in his hands is undeniable. His hunger has been questionable for years, as has his interest in hard training (thats coming from Rampage himself in multiple interviews). I’ve been a big ‘Page fan for 10 years, yet I think your opinion was absolutely spot on Roy. If he’d trained harder and in more facets of MMA – he would’ve almost certainly defended against Griffin, he would’ve finished Rashad and he certainly wouldn’t have lost to Bader. A great shame. He needn’t have moaned for so long about wrestlers trying to take him down and should have worked harder at TD defense. Saying that, he is still a legend in my eyes and I will follow his career whether he’s in the UFC or not.

          • Sir_Roy

            Mirrored my thoughts exactly.

          • DamianCross

            His hunger isn’t questionable: as you said Page himself has stated multiple times that he doesn’t enjoy training, he wants aggressive fights, and he doesn’t plan to stay in MMA forever.

            Some might look down on those opinions, but at least Page was honest and stated them plainly. I could respect that, but honesty is going the way of the dinosaur Now we get to watch Rory Macdonald taunt an opponent for 2 rounds in front of the whole world and then straight up lie about it afterward.

          • Sir_Roy

            While I agree for the most part, you seem to contradict yourself a little there. You say his ‘hunger’ isn’t questionable and then state you acknowledge Page admits to a lack of motivation with regards hard work and ‘training’.

            To be clear, this is what I meant when I questioned his ‘hunger’. I was not insinuating he wanted easy fights. A hungry fighter lives, breathes and eats in the gym. A hungry fighter is constantly scrounging for ways to improve his game. Rampage, by his own admission, has felt challenged to do so in the past. A lack of rigor and motivation hampering certain of his performances against challengers he could / should have otherwise defeated in my opinion.

            I too appreciate his honesty though … definitely one of the more colorful and entertaining personalities MMA has offered up over the years.

          • DamianCross

            I meant that there is no doubt about it: he isn’t hungry, and that’s ok.

      • GoNoles


      • boomboom1234

        since when did chuck have a questionable chin BEFORE his fight with rampage? i dont ever recall chuck getting knocked out cold until rampage. wand on the other hand is a different story.

        does rampage have knock out power = yes, does he use it effectively = no.

        You cannot deny that rampage was once a top tier fighter, but that is in the past. he beat the best at the time which was chuck. that makes him the best at that time.

        totally agree with sir roy about his training. if he was to put the time in and really train he would still be a force to reckon. he would also benefit to surround himself with other great fighters too. (not just 1 or 2). if you are the top dog and there is no one to push/challange u when training u will just plateau. Trust me ive seen this first hand.

        but all in all give the man his dues as he has definitely earned them

    • Big Tuna

      King “Bum” Lawal, same guy Mousassi tossed around and punked his belt!

  • Mmakid

    I don’t understand how your boss bonded you out of jail after you killed a lady’s unborn child but yet you feel disrespected . Good luck in bellator

    • kingkongbundy

      Because not all killing is a crime and second can you really kill an unborn??? If you are unborn, how can you die?

      You get into a car accident for wreckless driving and as a result kill an unborn BUT the lady is otherwise harmless.

      • Mmakid

        Are you ******* kidding me bro? Did you not take science classes?? I guess not. Let’s see this happen to your sister, cousin or mom and you tell me *******. Get rampages *** out of your *** and wake up bro

  • kmom

    I don’t think anyone in the mma community respects lawals opinions since he’s got very few accomplishments in mma.
    Lol ya, hopefully rampage signs a deal with pro wrestling and Jim and no can be tag team partners lol. With that type of outlook why would the ufc take either seriously. More is no Brock leaner draw and isn’t even an mma draw. Rampage is a has been with punching power who wants the ufc to give him easy fights to build his rep so he can try and land acting roles and leave mma anyways. Accolades and respect isn’t given its earned. Rampage doesn’t want to work for it like every other top contender. He’s not hungry and wants easy fights for a check. Why would Dana respect that????

    • kmom

      Lol I meant Him and Mo

  • yup

    rampage could easily beat glover. The one that’s overrated is glover. He has zero chin. It will be exposed

    • John Bunch

      Zero chin…wow. He’s been tko’ed once, in his very first pro fight almost 10 years ago. Yeah Maldonado rocked him at the end of the first round. It was an honest mistake imo, albeit a potentially costly one. The amount of damage Glover had inflicted upon Maldonado was almost criminal, and Glover got a little cocky thinking he could throw bombs at will and not be as guarded. Probably a heat of the moment tactical error that I doubt he will repeat. I’ve always enjoyed Rampage’s fights and his persona so if he goes out on a win, good for him. But I really like Glover, his humility and his “hunger” now that he has made it to the big show. Going to be fireworks in this one, even with Glover’s “zero chin.”

  • Joe

    Rampage fought in Japan for a long time, and fighters there are treated as if they are one step away from being a god. I can see how he could be searching for different treatment, and more respect. I don’t feel that he is going to find what he is looking for in a US promotion though.

  • George Sperry

    Speaking in general, not specifically about Jackson, I have found that the people who complain the loudest about getting no respect give no respect to others.