Former Strikeforce champ King Mo Lawal retires

After more than a decade of professional mixed martial arts competition, former Strikeforce champion Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal is calling it a career. sources on Monday confirmed Lawal’s retirement.

A national champion in wrestling during college, Lawal made the move to MMA in 2008 and fought for major fight promotions around the globe right out of the gate. He began his career with World Victory Road’s Sengoku in Japan. 

Lawal made a name for himself under the Strikeforce banner, where he became the promotion’s light heavyweight champion by defeating current Bellator champion Gegard Mousasi.

Though he wasn’t assimilated into the UFC when its owners purchased and shuttered Strikeforce, Lawal went on to continue competing at a championship level under the Bellator banner. He never claimed the belt for Bellator, but did fight for the interim title once, losing a decision to Emmanuel Newton.

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Lawal also fought under the Rizin banner in Japan over the past few years because of that promotion’s close working relationship with Bellator. He won the Rizin Heavyweight World Grand Prix tournament in 2015, but failed to capture the promotion’s light heavyweight title earlier this year. 

Lawal’s failed championship bid at Rizin 15 in April would prove to be his final fights, as he is now retired at 38 years of age with an overall record 21-9 (1NC).