Muhammed Lawal is still without an opponent for his June 18 Strikeforce fight in Dallas, but either Roger Gracie or Ovince St. Preux will be the one to step up and give “King Mo” his royal welcome.
Although the June 18 date for his return is yet to be confirmed by the organization, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker shared Gracie’s and St. Preux’s names as candidates to take on Lawal.
“Roger Gracie would be a potential opponent, maybe OSP,” Coker told MMAWeekly.com on Wednesday.
Lawal (7-1) was last seen attempting to defend his Strikeforce light heavyweight title against Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante at Strikeforce: Houston in August of last year. The night didn’t end well for “King Mo,” as Cavalcante beat him on the feet and defended well against the takedown en route to taking the 205-pound title from Lawal. Since then, Lawal has been sidelined with a knee injury and seen no action.
MMAWeekly.com previously reported that June appeared to be the month in which Lawal was looking to return from his layoff.
“I’m healing great,” Lawal told MMAWeekly.com. “(I’m) looking to fight in June.”
Gracie (4-0) had his first mixed martial arts match nearly five years ago, but has focused much of that time on submission and jiu-jitsu competitions. A fight against Lawal would be his second MMA fight of 2011. His first was a win over Trevor Prangley by rear naked choke at Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg in January. All four of Gracie’s wins have come by submission.
St. Preux (10-4), otherwise known as “OSP,” is a product of the Strikeforce Challengers series. The former University of Tennessee football player impressed in his last three outings, beating fighters such as Antwain Britt, Benji Radach, and Ron “Abongo” Humphrey. A fight with Lawal would be an immediate step up in competition for OSP.
MMAWeekly.com will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.
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