Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal isn't daunted at making his Bellator debut at Bellator 86 on Spike TV.
To him, MMA is a veritable cakewalk compared to what he's been through on the wrestling mat.
"I’ve been preparing mentally for all these big moments through every wrestling match I’ve had before I even got to MMA," Lawal told Bleacher Report on a media conference call.
"That’s why when people talk about MMA being hard, to me it’s easy compared to wrestling," he said.
Lawal elaborated on the specific difficulties that made wrestling so gruesome and difficult. "Going overseas, wrestling guys from Russia and Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan. You gotta deal with the fact that in order to get paid you gotta win, and then you gotta deal with the referees cheating you."
These experiences have seemingly galvanized "King Mo" against all the pressures and trials of the MMA world: the nerves, daily grind, etc.
Another aspect of the fight game to be apprehensive about is an unlikely upset, especially in light of this past Thursday's Bellator event, where favorites Renato "Babalu" Sobral and Seth Petruzelli were both resoundingly beaten by their unheralded opponents. Lawal was cavalier regarding the chance of a possible loss to his opponent, Poland's Przemyslaw Mysiala.
"I’m not worried about no upsets," said Lawal. "I’m just worried about me executing my game plan and winning these fights."
Those are remarkably calm words for a man who nearly had his career cut short due to a debilitating knee surgery and subsequent infection—an infection that has since subsided and a knee that, according to Lawal, is 100 percent healthy.
"I went to Holland and made sure that [the knee injury] was all straight. I went there to strictly test myself against topflight kickboxers and strikers. That’s why I went there, to see if my knee could hold up, and I left with no injuries," he said.
Lawal didn't have too much to say about his opponent, save for a peculiar nickname that he bestowed upon his Polish foe.
"I know Przemyslaw—I call him 'coleslaw'—I know he’s tough, has good submissions…I just gotta worry about myself being healthy for the next round. That’s all I’m worried about," he said.
Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal vs. Przemyslaw Mysiala will take place at Bellator 86 on Spike TV on Jan. 24 at 10 p.m. ET. It will be the first fight for "King Mo" outside of Strikeforce since 2009.
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