Meltzer: King Mo, Phil Baroni considering pro wrestling

Sunday, April 01, 2012

On January 7 in Las Vegas Nevada Muhammed “King Mo” beat Lorenz Larkin, earning a shot at the vacant Strikeforce light heavyweight title.

Then he tested positive for the Performance Enhance Drug Drostanolone.

In a hearing before the Nevada State Athletic Commission, Lawal contended that the positive test was due to his use of the OTC supplement S Mass Lean Gainer, which has since been recalled. However, on his pre fight questionnaire he no where mentions the supplement, and was sharply questioned about the omission by NSAC commissioner Pat Lundvall.

Lawal took offense at Lundvall’s questions, notably when she asked him in succession “Can you understand English?” and “Can you read English?”

Shortly after the hearing, Lawal called Lunvdall a “racist b—” on twitter and continued “Go on somewhere with that bulls— b—-!!” 

Shortly after that he was released from his contract with Strikeforce parent company ZUFFA.

The 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.

The retesting before relicensing is a formality. The NC might not even affect a title shot. The suspension was not too onerous, as Lawal is recovering from a series of surgeries to combat a life-threatening staph infection that was in turn contracted from an ACL surgery.

The fine however hurts.

Because the knee surgery was for a pre existing condition (torn ACL) it was not covered by ZUFFA’s insurance polic, and Lawal faces over $100,000 in medical bills. NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer told Lawal he could pay the $39,000 fine when he returns to MMA.

Now it appears Lawal may try his hand at pro wrestling.

Lawal immediately expressed interest in going to WWE. He’s had interest in the past. He was recruited years ago by Gerald Brisco, and at the time said he would be interested in going in 2008 because he first wanted to go to the Olympics. However, he lost in overtime in the finals at the Olympic trials. He had interest in both WWE and MMA after the Olympics but made the call to do MMA, feeling he could always do WWE after a few years of MMA, but couldn’t do it in the other direction.

Lawal grew up in Tennessee as a big fan of Jerry Lawler (hence the “King” gimmick) and several of the WCW stars like Ric Flair, Booker T and Arn Anderson, was in OVW briefly years ago. In a discussion with Shad Gaspard, Gaspard told him that he wished he stayed in fighting and had a career there before pro wrestling and encouraged Lawal to do the same. Lawal had always said when he grew up that his goal was to win an Olympic gold medal in wrestling (he came up slightly short), then win a world championship in fighting, and follow that by winning a world championship as a pro wrestler.

Later in the newsletter Meltzer revealed that Phil Baroni too may try his hand at pro wrestling.

Former UFC fighter Phil Baroni has expressed interest in a career as a pro wrestler. He’s talked about it in the past as something he would like to do once his career in MMA was over and now has thought more about possibly giving it a try.

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