Brock Lesnar made a big name for himself when he rose quickly through the ranks to the top with World Wrestling Entertainment. He later made an even bigger name when he opted to tackle the mixed martial arts world, becoming the legit baddest man on the planet in record time.
King Mo Lawal, 31, would love to do the same or more, and he will have an opportunity to do more, when he competes for Bellator Fighting Championships and TNA Impact Wrestling.
That means King Mo could be the second competitor to wear a major mixed martial arts belt and pro wrestling heavyweight title simultaneously. Only Dan The Beast Severn did it, winning the UFC Superfight Heavyweight Championship and National Wrestling Alliance title in 1995.
If King Mo does it, it would be on a larger stage. MMA is much more popular than it was in 1995, and TNA Impact Wrestling is seen worldwide via Spike TV and other international subsidiaries.
“For me, as far as extra pressure from being in both companies, if you have no pressure, then obviously you’re not doing anything.” Lawal said. “With me, the pressure’s there, and hey, I embrace it, and I’m willing to do what I got to do to represent both companies.”
Appearing in a conference call for TNA Impact Wrestling is one of those things.
So what are the chances of seeing a high-profile show in the United States with MMA and pro wrestling matches?
“I’m all for it,” Lawal said. “It’s entertainment. They do it in Japan. Why not do here in the United States. There are people who might be fickle, but if you come and pay for entertainment, a show with MMA and pro wrestling will do that for you.
“I remember at one point WWF had pro wrestling matches and tough man fights on TV. People were getting knocked out, and then people were getting pinned. I feel entertainment is entertainment, and if you want to see people get beat up, you might as well have both, because people do get beat up in pro wrestling, and people do get beat up doing MMA.
“I feel like that would be a good thing for me. I’d enjoy it.”
Not jumping too far ahead, King Mo still has some learning and training to do -- in both sport genres.
“In MMA, I’m there to learn and improve,” Lawal said, “and as far as pro wrestling, I’m doing the same thing. When you’re out there learning and improving and your body takes a beating and a pounding, that’s part of the game. I’m up for the challenge.”
Thursday’s (Oct. 4th) broadcast of TNA Impact Wrestling (8 p.m. EST Spike TV) will feature the Impact debut of MMA star and TNA newcomer King Mo. He’s not wrestling...yet.
“As for my first match, I don’t know yet. I still have a long way to go,” Lawal said. “[Pro wrestling] is not easy. People think that it’s easy, but I feel it’s harder than MMA.
“In MMA, you get hit. You hit them back. [Pro wrestling] is a lot different. This is an art. It’s entertainment, and it’s tough.
“I’m just waiting for them to tell me when I’m ready. As far as my first match, I’m hoping it’s somebody I can pin real quick.”
In MMA, King Mo (10-1-1) is the former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight champ. His background is wrestling, the amateur version.