Strikeforce Predictions: Gegard Mousasi vs. King Mo Lawal

April 17, 2010

Gegard Mousasi - Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion

If you ask any true MMA fight fan out there who one of the best pound for pound MMA fighters in the world, Gegard Mousasi's name will most certainly be mentioned. Mousasi fluctuates between the middleweight and light heavyweight division in Strikeforce and overseas in DREAM. It has also recently been rumored that Mousasi is interested in competing as a heavyweight! So for those of you who aren't familiar with Gegard Mousasi, let's give you a quick run-down to bring you up to speed. Mousasi is a 24 year old Iranian born fighter, currently fighting out of the Netherlands, who stands at six feet one inch. He is well versed in Judo (practicing since 15) and boxing (former Netherlands amateur boxing champion) and kickboxing (Mousasi is currently 7-0 as a professional kickboxer).

Gegard Mousasi has been tearing throw his opponents for the last five years (his last loss was in the 2006 PRIDE Grand Prix quarterfinals to Akihiro Gono).  It is worth noting that both of Mousasi's losses came from armbars. Those opponents that Mousasi has defeated haven't been pushovers either the list includes; Hector Lombard (decision), Dennis Kang (Triangle), Dong Sik Yoon (decision), Melvin Manohef (Triangle), Ronaldo Souza (Upkick), Renato Sobral (Punches), and Sokoudoju (Punches). Gegard Mousasi is currently 28 - 2 - 1. In 2008 Mousasi captured the DREAM middleweight and Grand Prix championships. Gegard Mousasi's most current win came over Gary Goodridge, which ended in the first round due to strikes (a heavyweight mma fight). Mousasi has the ability to end an MMA fight on the ground through submissions or by standing and exchanging punches. 17 of Mousasi's 28 wins have come from KO and another 9 have come from submission.  The last thing we wanted to mention was, don't blink because Mousasi's matches end quickly - 17 of his 28 wins have been decided within the first round.

Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal - undefeated light heavyweight contender

King Mo is a rising star in mixed martial arts - he is undefeated, he has a captivating personality and he is still young. There is no doubt that Mo Lawal has the personality and talent to take him straight to the top. We had a chance to get to know King Mo in Vegas at UFC 100 and we could not have been more impressed. Although people consider Lawal to be a "talker" he is really just gaming the system - King Mo knows how to gain the exposure necessary to get a title fight (Gray Maynard should take notes!). King Mo Lawal, similar to Mousasi fluctuates between MMA weight divisions. Lawal's last two MMA fights have taken place at heavyweight. Lawal defeated Mike Whitehead via punches in the 1st round at Strikeforce: Evolution and defeated an aging Mark Kerr at M-1 Global Breakthrough via punches within less than 30 seconds of the opening bell.

Now onto to the good stuff, Lawal has a list of wrestling credentials that compare to Dan Henderson, Phil Davis and other transitional stars. King Mo is a former Big 12 champion & All American collegiate wrestler for Oklahoma State University as well as a US National team member in 2005. Throughout 2007 and 2008, Lawal was considered to be one of America's top pound for pound amateur freestyle wrestlers. It was not until late 2008 (after a disappointing Olympic trials performance) before Lawal had his first MMA fight, a fight that took place with Sengoku in Japan (Lawal defeated Travis Wiuff via round 1 TKO). Lawal hasn't turned back since his first MMA fight - he went 4-0 in Japan fighting with Sengoku (and building quite the persona), before making his first US MMA debut in late 2009. The April 17th fight with Gegard Mousasi will be King Mo's most difficult challenge to date, however he will have the Nashville MMA fans' support (Lawal was born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee). We feel that Lawal will have the best chance at defeating Mousasi by utilizing his speed and athleticism to keep Mousasi off balance through the first few rounds before scoring technical points in the later rounds.

The Prediction: Gegard Mousasi or King Mo Lawal?

As much as we love King Mo Lawal, we must be realistic. Gegard Mousasi is, quite frankly, on another level. We have petitioned in the past to bring Mousasi to the UFC to challenge Anderson Silva in the middleweight division or even give him a shot at Lyoto Machida. He really is that good in both divisions. His striking will be too much for Lawal to handle, which won't make the Nashville mma fans happy given that Lawal will surely be the fan favorite. However, we are taking Gegard Mousasi via 2nd round submission (knee lock).

**Make sure to check out our MMA fight analysis of the Strikeforce bout between Gilbert Melendez vs. Shinya Aoki and Dan Henderson vs Jake Shields.