'King Mo' Lawal Explains Decision to Retire From MMA


A week after his official retirement from MMA, 'King Mo' Lawal has explained his decision in detail.

Appearing on ESPN's 'Ariel Helwani's MMA Show,' the former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion provided multiple reasons for his farewell. “Too many injuries. I can’t train the way I want to. I just couldn’t, my body wasn’t recovering," he admitted. "I just couldn’t do it no more and then on top of that, I saw Rory MacDonald do an interview after a fight, stating how he feels like he didn’t want to hurt nobody. And I’m like ‘damn, I feel the same way.’

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"It’s weird because when I was younger, I was like ‘man, I’m gonna smash this dude, I’m gonna hurt him.’ And then recently, I’m like ‘you know what, if I can just beat him up and just stop him, I’ll stop him but I don’t wanna hurt nobody.' It got to the point where I just didn’t wanna hurt nobody. That and my body’s beat up and I’m just old, man. Just wanna relax," he said.

“I was so injured in practice, I was just worried about myself getting injured . . . Then I started worrying about myself getting injured so much that I was worrying about injuring other people as well. So it just got to the point where I was like you know what, ‘I don’t really know if I feel like harming people no more. I’m just trying to chill, relax, teach and that’s it."

While moved by MacDonald's comments, Lawal hopes that the Bellator Welterweight Champion can continue his fighting career. "It spoke to me, man. I’m hoping Rory just had a bad day because I think he’s a great fighter and I know he’s very young in the sport. I’m hoping he just had a bad day, and he’s not feeling that way because that’s how I feel."

Lawal believes he's felt this way for "about a year and a half," citing “40 surgeries” as an integral reason for his recent struggles. Nonetheless, Lawal now focuses on his new role: coaching full-time at American Top Team. 

For Helwani's full interview with Lawal, click here.

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