The worlds of MMA and Pro Wrestling collide yet again, as TNA Wrestling and Bellator Fighting Championship have landed a groundbreaking deal with former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight champion King Mo, where he will compete in both simultaneously.
King Mo, also known as Muhammed Lawal, 31, holds an 8-1-1 career MMA record, in addition to being a NCAA Division I and II All-American. Long known for being outspoken, Mo was fired from Strikeforce earlier this year, after his comments about Pat Lundvall of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, following his nine month suspension from MMA. Mo had been suspended for the use of drostanolone, a steroid in which he claimed to have taken accidentally via a supplement.
In the deal, Mo will start working with TNA Wrestling this summer, before joining Bellator in January, for its light heavyweight tournament. Bellator will also be moving from MTV2 to Spike TV in January, and has quietly become the number 2 mixed martial arts promotion in America, drawing comparisons to TNA Wrestling. With Viacom recently purchasing Bellator FC, the company has major financial backing, as well as the support of multiple cable networks to support the brand.
Bellator currently runs on a tournament method, where potential title challengers must complete an 8 man tournament before receiving a title shot. The company has experienced tough luck of late, losing middleweight champion Hector Lombard, and likely Eddie Alvarez, to the UFC.
The Virtuous One’s Viewpoint
The King Mo signing is a huge transaction in both pro wrestling, and MMA. Mo is known widely throughout MMA, and has been compared to a pro wrestler since his debut for his love of theatrics. Mo has a charismatic, yet sometimes brash persona, that could work easily as a face or a heel in TNA wrestling, and will bring major attention to the Bellator brand.
While I don’t know what competitive edge this could give to TNA Wrestling, it will be interesting to see how his work schedule is handled. Sure, we’ve seen Bobby Lashley, Brock Lesnar, Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn, and many more work for American pro wrestling and MMA companies, but never of this magnitude simultaneously. TNA and Bellator are each the number 2 companies in America, and with Bellator’s financial backing, could become a legitimate alternative to the UFC/Strikeforce stranglehold on the sport.
Staying healthy will be the true test for King Mo, as he’s battled multiple injuries since 2010. The TNA schedule is a limited one, but it doesn’t make taking bumps any easier. I would imagine King Mo sees this as a career rebirth, however, and will show up with an incredible level of dedication. I guess we’ll find out this summer.
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