If you watched the weigh-ins for Bellator 123 yesterday, your eyebrows may have been raised when it was announced that “King Mo” Lawal came in at 202.5 pounds for his bout tonight with Dustin Jacoby. While Lawal isn’t exactly known for being a massive light-heavyweight, the weight may have prompted more than a few people to wonder if something was going on. Did the decorated wrestler make a deliberate effort to come in lighter for this fight?
Well, in a follow up interview with MMA Junkie.com Radio, Lawal has shot down the idea that 202.5 was planned. In fact, “King Mo” was apparently asked by someone at the weigh-ins why he was coming in light for the bout, to which he reportedly thought “‘What do you mean I’m coming in so light?”
After 202.5 was called out, Lawal said his initial thought was “whoops”, so, clearly this wasn’t the bi-product of anything intentional. The 33 year-old also provided a “hell no” when asked if the weight was a result of tough weight cut.
While this may sound like there’s no story here after all, “King Mo” did relay that a move to middleweight might be coming. In fact, the 12-4 fighter said he’s going to “play with it a little bit” next year, and that he might compete at 185, 205 and heavyweight. That certainly would provide Bellator more than a few matchmaking opportunities no?
All this talk comes not long after it was announced that Lawal has signed a new deal with Bellator, which the fighter characterized as “one of the easiest decisions” he could have made. Lawal cited the hiring of former Strikeforce boss Scott Coker as driving factor in his decision to re-up with Bellator, after he blasted now former CEO Bjorn Rebney on several occasions.
Although Jacoby may not be a household MMA name, tonight’s fight is a massive one for Lawal. A loss to the UFC and GLORY vet would be a huge setback for Lawal, who is 1-2 in his last 3 fights (yes, even if many people believe he decisioned “Rampage” Jackson at Bellator 120).
Bellator 123 will be hosted by the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, and will also feature a rematch between featherweight champ Pat Curran and Patricio “Pitbull.”
Cheick Kongo is also set to battle fellow UFC vet Lavar Johnson, which has the potential to be a short and violent barnburner.