Muhammed ‘King Mo’ Lawal claimed a convincing two-round decision victory over Linton Vassell last night in the semi-final of the Bellator Dynamite! light-heavyweight tournament which booked up a place in the final later that night against the winner of the other bracket, Phil Davis.
Unfortunately ‘King Mo’ didn’t show up in the cage for the co-main event of the evening though, with alternate Francis Carmont showing up instead as it had emerged backstage that the former Strikeforce 205lb champion had suffered a rib injury.
“He had a rib injury and couldn’t continue,” Bellator President Scott Coker explained. “After his fight, he said, `Oh, my rib hurts.’ They cleared him to fight, but as he cooled down, it started stiffening up. He couldn’t lift his arm at all until 30 minutes before the fight. He decided to pull out.”
Interestingly, Coker says that they then turned to the man Lawal had just beaten, Vassell to see if he was able to compete instead, but he’d been declared medically unfit to fight again due to the fact he’d been rocked a few times during his semi-final encounter.
Vassell was frustrated with that decision as he claims he’d have been willing to fight.
“I think they messed up, because had I won I would have continued. So it was a little bit of a mess up, but things happen for a reason,” The UK fighter said.
So, Carmont, who’d defeated Anthony Ruiz by decision in the first prelim of the night to qualify as the tournament alternate, stepping in to fight Davis in a battle of former UFC fighters and it was ‘Mr Wonderful’ who finished the fight in style, knocking out Carmont in the first round.
Davis now goes on to fight current champion Liam McGeary who defeated Tito Ortiz on the night, though you’d have to imagine that Bellator will also be eager to eventually be able to pair him up with ‘King Mo’ too in order to establish who is in fact the better man.