Muhammed ‘King Mo’ Lawal has announced that he’s retiring from MMA at 38-years-of-age.
“It’s been on my mind for a while,” Lawal told mmafighting.com. “I just put it in the back of my head. It was the pain from the injuries that was messing me up and my lack of range of motion from my hip and my knee. I’ve been fighting most of my career with no legs, a messed up knee or a messed up hip and after I had that hip surgery where they put titanium metal in my hip, it kind of made me think — I’m going to need a knee replacement, I’m going to need an elbow replacement, I’m going to need a hip replacement.
“I was like I’m getting old, I’m 38, I’ve got kids. I can’t even run right now. I can’t even jog really. I’m that bad. It’s to the point where if I can’t jog or sprint or be explosive, then I’ve got to stop.
“I had so many surgeries. Probably 30 or 40 surgeries. I remember the first time I had anesthesia when I had my ACL done, I went right to the movies and watched a movie after that. Now as I’ve gotten older when I get the anesthesia, I don’t know where I’m at. I look all jacked up. My last surgery, I was like this is my last surgery because my body don’t act the same.”
Charismatic, confident and flamboyant, Lawal was tipped to be a major star when he transitioned to MMA after an impressive run as an NCAA division-1 All-American in 2008.
At times he delivered on that promise. During his 10-year ‘King Mo’ won Strikeforce’s light-heavyweight and later would also win Rizin’s heavyweight grand-prix, while he holds victories over the likes of Quinton ‘Ramage’ Jackson, Gegard Mousasi, Roger Gracie, Satoshi Ishii and Cheick Kongo.
There have also been disappointments along the way too though, quickly losing his Strikeforce title with a TKO loss against Rafael ‘Feijao’ Cavalcante, having a KO win over Lorenz Larkin overturned due to testing positive for steroids, being defeated by Emanuel Newton for Bellator’s interim 205lb title and tasting defeat against ‘Rampage’ Jackson in Bellator’s heavyweight tournament.
As he alludes to in his retirement announcement, ‘King Mo’ has also been ravaged by injuries over the years, while his decision to hang up his gloves comes after suffering three TKO losses in a row.