Mark down another MMA fighter to make the jump to pro wrestling. As first mentioned by Sherdog.com, Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal has signed a contract with both Bellator Fighting Championships and the wrestling promotion Total Nonstop Action, WWE’s main rival in the wrestling world.
While the signing with Bellator isn’t shocking in the least, following King Mo’s suspension and release from the Zuffa owned Strikeforce promotion, his signing with TNA might have some people scratching their heads. Bellator, who recently lost the now former Middleweight Champion Hector Lombard to the UFC via free agency, has been working to continue to grow its roster and adds a very successful amateur wrestler and former Strikeforce Champion in Lawal.
While King Mo won’t be the first person to make the jump to wrestling from MMA, he is one of only a very small handful that have competed in both sports, at the same time. King Mo joins people such as Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn, Josh Barnett and many others as guys who have crossed over into the wrestling business.
Lawal last fought in Strikeforce defeating Lorenz Larkin at Strikeforce: Jardine vs Rockhold in Janruary. Following the fight, Lawal tested positive for the banned substance Drostanolone metabolities, and received a nine-month suspension by the Nevada State Athletic commission. Lawal was then released from his contract following an outburst over Twitter towards commission officials, specifically Pat Lundvall. Lawal later issued an apology for the comments.
While Lawal won’t be able to compete with Bellator until his suspension is complete, this won’t stop him from competing inside the “squared circle” for TNA. TNA was founded by Jeff and Jerry Jarret in 2002 and is currently ran by president Dixie Carter, with the main headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee.
While the thought may rile up a few feathers, with Bellator’s jump to SpikeTV in 2013, the possibility of cross promotion between Bellator and TNA could exist, TNA remains as SPIKE’s main regular running program after the UFC’s deal with FOX.
While he isn’t the first, King Mo could be one of the more interesting characters to make the jump to professional wrestling from MMA; only time will tell how it will work out for all involved.
[Update] Lawal will not compete with Bellator until the promotion moves over to Spike in 2013, but will make his TNA debut later this summer.