Muhammed ‘King Mo’ Lawal suffered the first loss of his eight fight career on Saturday night to Rafael ‘Feijao’ Cavalcante at UFC 118, and after reflecting on his performance over the last couple of days the former champion admits overconfidence may have been his downfall.
“I got away from what I’m good at which is wrestling,” Lawal tells thegarv.com. “I was throwing a lot of body shots, but I wasn’t mixing it up good. I should have thrown some body shots, went for the take down, just changing levels. I was overconfident.”
It’s a good, honest analysis from Lawal, and matches up with my own feelings on his performance. He’s undoubtedly a talented fighter, but I believe he got a little too cocky in this fight with his stand-up, keeping his hands low as he attempted to mimic the style of some of his boxing heroes.
That was a mistake. While he does have some natural athletic gifts and is improving his skills with each fight he takes, he is still an elite wrestler, not a world-class boxer. If he had been fighting someone with limited striking ability he could have pulled it off, but against a muay thai specialist like Feijao who possesses KO power it was a fundamentally flawed strategy.
Still, Lawal is still relatively young in MMA terms, and as the old saying goes, you learn more from failure than success, as the fighter himself is only too aware.
“For me winning is cool, but this loss was great because I’m going to get better from this loss. People can make a fuss and say that I’m overrated, but that’s okay. In a year or two, that one loss won’t matter. I just have to keep winning.”