Transcript and audio of King Mo and the NSAC Commissioner

by Kirik Jenness | source:

These are bad days for Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal.

In 2010 his undefeated streak ended when he lost his Strikeforce Lighheavyweight title to Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante. He bounced back with wins over Roger Gracie and in January over Lorenz Larkin.

Then he tested positive for Drostanolone, a Performance Enhancing Drug. Lawal asserted that he took the drug unknowingly, that it was contained in an over the counter supplement.

Then he contracted Staph, which put him in the hospital for weeks, and nearly ended his life.

Then at a hearing on March 27, the Nevadad State Athletic Commission declared his win over Larkin a No Contest, fined him $39,000 (30% percent of his $80,000 show purse, and 100% of his $15,000 win bonus, suspended for nine months, and he is subject to further testing in order to be relicensed.

After the hearing he took offense at questions put to him by NSAC commissioner Pat Lundvall, calling her a "racist b---" on twitter.

And then he was fired.

In an interview with FightersOnly, NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer defended Lundvall, who has been described as one of Nevada's top trial lawyers.

“It is very common to ask respondents/defendants if they read/speak English and understood the questions on a form that contains untruthful answers, so they do not later claim they did not understand the form," Kizer explained.

“If Mr. Lawal thought the questioning unfair, he could have asked for clarification. Again, it is quite common to ask a defendant those questions so he cannot plead ignorance as to understanding the written questions of the form.”

In his first post release interview, Stephie "Crooklyn" Daniels, Lawal reflected.

"It is what it is," said Lawal. "Of course, I want to fight for Strikeforce and fight for Zuffa, but if they want to cut me for what I said, then I can't take it back because it already happened. I have never been asked in such a condescending way if I could read or speak English like that. I did something wrong, so I can't really say I'm being treated unfairly. I don't know if it was excessive to cut me."

"I went in there respectfully," Lawal continued. "I'm not playing the race card. I'm too old to play the race card ... The woman's comments reminded me of times when I experienced racial insensitivity from other people ... I just felt disrespected by that one person that asked if I could speak or read English.

"To me, that was a blatant insult. Just listen to the audio. You'll see."

This is a transcript of that audio.

Pat Lundvall: You took it some time before Christmas I assume, is that correct?

Muhammed Lawal: Yeah, I took it before I came back from Austin Texas.

PL: When did you come back from Austin Texas?

ML: The first week of December I believe.

PL: So its the first week of December, you’re still taking it into December then. Did you take it after Christmas?

ML: No I didn’t take it after Christmas.

PL: So when was the last time, when did you stop taking it?

ML: I only took it for like a week… I stopped taking it as soon as the doctor said hey-

Mike Kogan (Lawal’s manager) interjecting:  - he came up from Austin on the 10th -

ML: - yeah so as soon as the doctor -

MK, interjecting: - No we came up from Austin on the 11th - we went to see the doctor… the MRI was done on the 23rd and it was done three days. Two to three days before we went to see the doctor... I mean after we went to see the doctor. So the 20th is when we went to see the doctor.

PL: What period of time in December did you actually take this supplement?

MK: Between the 11th and the 19th in that week.

PL: Did you take it again after the MRI?

ML: No I didn’t take it again.

PL: What were you taking after you had seen the doctor

ML: Orthovisc, which is some injections the doctor gave me, some anti-inflammatories…

PL: You filled out a pre-fight medical questionnaire before your fight in January did you not?

ML: Yes I did.

PL: There are a couple of questions on that pre-fight questionnaire that ask you what kind of prescribed medications you were taking, do you recall that?

ML: Yes I do.

PL: You ticked ‘nothing’

ML: Well... I ticked nothing because I was there by myself, my manager wasn’t there. My manager had the whole list of everything [I was using] and he came late. So I didn’t know everything that was actually injected into my knee by my doctor.

PL: But you knew you were taking something though, right?

ML: Er... Yes, correct.

PL: Alright. You also said you were taking some stuff over the counter at that point in time, correct?

ML: Uh, I don’t know… I only know what I put on the questionnaire…

MK, interjecting: - We didn’t put anything on the questionnaire - I was the one who filled out the questionnaire, I apologise. Orthovisc that he was taking was a lubricant that was administered into his knee, er…

PL: There’s no apologising for falsifying required information on the medical questionnaire. Mr Lawal, my question to you is that you signed this medical questionnaire after it was filled out did you not?

ML: I did, I did.

PL: Can you understand English?

ML: Yes.

PL: Can you read English?

ML: Uh-huh.

PL: Then you knew that by signing it, that the information on this medical questionnaire is supposed to be true and correct, right?

ML: Er, yes.

Read entire article...

(6:40 mark)


In 1903, W.E.B. Du Bois wrote with foresight that “The problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color-line.” It has been over 100 years, and we still do not live in a post-race world. An African-American man facing the loss of his livelihood being asked if he can read by a caucasian Attorney is not necessarily going to have the same resonance it would to say Keith Kizer.

This would justify Lawal making similar remarks, in privacy, to a friend. However, through twitter and other social networks, the whole world is watching, and remarks like Lawal's serve no one.

We live in the dawn of a new era in which the lines between personal and private are increasingly becoming blurred. Social networks and above all Twitter are invaluable tools for building a personal brand and with it professional gain.

But they are also windows into all the quirkiness that is being a human being - the rages and the gaffes and the stupidity that at times are a part of each of us. Human beings wear clothes for more than warmth. We wear clothes because if everyone walked around naked, it wouldn't be pretty.

So too with Twitter. Not everything a human being feels under stress should be shared with the world, archived for all time. Lawal deleted the tweet in short order, but like all things digital and public, it is around now for ever, tattoed on his career - the fighter that got fired for calling a commissioner a racist b----.

Lawal will undoubtedly grow from the experience, and will hopefully in short order fight his way back into the highest levels of the sport. But professionals in this sport need to cover up more. But only a little bit.

There is a great danger that MMA becomes like other mainstream sports, where the public face of the athletes is a complete contrivance, with the authenticity of Ronald McDonald. Mixed Martial Arts is literally as real as it gets, and not coincidentally the athletes are too. So too for that matter UFC President Dana White, who is himself not above telling a belligerent fan to "go f--- yourself."

There is a great beauty in the honest and raw nature of mixed martial arts and the people in it, but it needs a little bit of tempering. Each prominent athlete in the sport needs the social networking equivalent of 4 oz. gloves and no attacks the groin, but not more than that or we lose the heart of the sport which is reality and truth.

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tags: Strikeforce   King Mo   Muhammed Lawal   NSAC   regulation   

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Recent Comments »

Thacommish site profile image  

3/31/12 12:18 AM by Thacommish

Ok try to wrap your little mind around this, it might be alot for you. History has a tendency to repeat itself, unless you are smart enough to actually look at it, and learn from the mistakes and correct them instead of continuing a stupid cycle of hate and vengeance, which will lead to guess what... more hate. so yes it is just as bad, you are going to create the same exact problem if you go that route. Again the goal is equality, inequality just creates more hate, and more ignorance like you are showing in questioning this. Better yourself and your people whatever fucking race or creed that may be, make the world better instead of spreading this ignorance, please.

Griffdog site profile image  

3/30/12 5:54 PM by Griffdog

Ah is the big scary evil black mans fault. Here he comes to rape our women with his massive engorged member!!! Hide your daughters! Arm yourselves!!!Please explain to me why a black man who commits the same exact crime will receive a harsher sentence in general? I provided the link earlier and you can find many more studies that back this up. Is there any other explanation than racism? Not if you are being honest with yourself.

Griffdog site profile image  

3/30/12 5:41 PM by Griffdog

Does reverse racism ever land a white man in chains, the property of a black man? No, it does not.Does reverse racism result in a white man being sentenced to a harsher penalty than a black man? No it does not.What is the worst way reverse racism has ever affected your life? Racism has cost many black men their very lives by way of false convictions and the fact that a jury is 66% more likely to give the death penalty to black man over a white man convicted of the same crime.Keep pretending that the real problem is with the black race. I am sure that you feel that black people should be happy that people like you even allow them to vote (while gerrymandering away any relevant voice that they may have).

RocketsRedglare site profile image  

3/30/12 5:16 PM by RocketsRedglare

"Saying that black people commit more crimes is a racist assumption based strictly on your own hatred of people who are different tan you." You can't be serious.  Normed for proportion of the population, look at statistics for interracial violence. The disparity is shockingly weighted toward black violence against whites. That's the reason it gets attention the other way around. Take a look at interracial rape if you want to see a crime committed thousands of times more against whites than whites against blacks. Blacks are of course frequent victims of crime, but not by white people. You know all this already.

Thacommish site profile image  

3/30/12 4:40 PM by Thacommish

Reverse racism is just as discriminatory and bad as regular racism, the fact that this commissioner has used the same exact words in questioning a white man shows there is no bias for it. However you demanding that it takes on a whole new meaning with king mo just because he is black and not due to any specific hate speech that would target just african americans seems like it is creating more inequality rather than the actual goal which is equality.

Griffdog site profile image  

3/30/12 12:37 PM by Griffdog

So you admit you have no idea of my intent. Interesting. You do seem to somehow know the commission attorney's intent. You also earlier made the attempt to tie together racism and discrimination and now you are trying to differentiate between the two to fit your argument.The fact that you are unwilling to address your own chosen profession's abuse and discrimination says a lot. Either you are complicit with these abuses of justice or you are choosing to be willfully ignorant because it does not affect your own race. Either is rather damning.If a black man says someone has acted in a racist manner towards him, I will take his word over someone who makes a living off a system that has been proven to be discriminatory in it's dealings with minorities.I can get a good look at a T-bone by sticking my head up a bull's ass, but I'd rather take a butcher's word for it.

octowussy site profile image  

3/30/12 12:23 PM by octowussy

Seemed fairly obvious that she was treating him like an idiot based on his profession rather than his skin color. The NSAC has zero respect for professional mixed martial artists, and that becomes crystal clear every time they're forced to deal with one.

ranier wolfcastle site profile image  

3/30/12 12:17 PM by ranier wolfcastle

 not only was it not racist, it was not evan an insult

MTH site profile image  

3/30/12 12:14 PM by MTH

All nonsense, and reveals yourself as either a very hardworking troll or somebody who simply can't bear the thought of being unable to refute reality when it clashes with your political agenda.  Perhaps both. Whether an action is racist--or sexist, or any other form of bigotry--is in fact determined by the intent of the actor, and not the understanding of the recipient.  If the commission's questions were not postulated with a racist intent, then they were not racist, and Lawal's opinion that they were is irrelevant.  Conversely, if they were made with a racist intent, then they would be racist, and Lawal's belief that they were not would be irrelevant. All the statistics and so on you point to have nothing to do with Lawal's hearing before the commission, the commissioner's questions, or the debate at hand.  Assuming they're accurate, they reflect discrimination, which is the real world result of racism, or sexism, etc.  While no doubt fodder for a broader social policy debate, the statistics have nothing to do with anything unless they show the commission is discriminatory with respect to the handling of black athlete disciplinary proceedings and you intend to argue that is the case with Lawal, which would indeed be a "backdoor" way to establish a racist intent, along the lines of what we discussed yesterday. And with that, I think we've come as far as we can.  The last word, with me anyway, is yours should you want it.

ortman166 site profile image  

3/30/12 12:01 PM by ortman166

Only an idiot could think that's racist.