King Mo just defeated Satoshi Ishii on December 16 at the Bellator 169 event in Ireland and now, less than two weeks later, he will be taking on Mirko Cro Cop in the Rizin Openweight Grand Prix Quarterfinals. Mo, assuming he gets past the MMA great, will potentially fight two more times in the next two days, but Mo isn’t looking past the legend.
“It’s MMA, and ‘Cro Cop,’ he’s not that easy to take down, especially in a ring,” Lawal said to MMA Junkie Radio. “It’s easier taking people down in a cage than a ring. But I can mix it up on him. Obviously, I have to watch out for the left kick, body or head kick, but I can nullify that. I’ve got longer reach than him, so I can actually jab with him and touch his body. I’ve just got to keep him guessing, more than anything. I like challenges. My thing is that I like to box, so I’m going to box with him. If the takedown is there, I’m going to take him down. If the takedown isn’t there, I’m going to continue to box with him.”
Mo will be replacing another MMA legend in Wanderlei Silva, who pulled out of the tournament due to injury. Mo believes that down the line, Silva will return to form.
“He’s still injured,” Lawal said. “He’s healing up, but he’s not Wanderlei- Wanderlei. He will be if you give him a little more time, but I think he’s still beat up. Wanderlei’s a man, so he’s going to do it himself. He isn’t going to say nobody is going to do it – he’s going to do it himself.”
Rizin 3 takes place on Thursday, December 29 from the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan with King Mo and Mirko Cro Cop headlining.