Mo Problems

January 23, 2013

It can't be easy to be King Mo.

Muhammad Lawal is a unique fighter, and not just because of his bombastic personality and elaborate entrances. He's also the only MMA fighter currently under contract simultaneously to a fight promotion and a professional wrestling organization, which means that while he's preparing for the Season 8 Light Heavyweight Tournament and his quarterfinal bout this Thursday against Przemyslaw Mysiala, he's also learning the ropes in a very literal way at Ohio Valley Wrestling, the farm system for IMPACT WRESTLING.

Heavy hangs the head that wears the crown, and all that.

The thing that casual observers probably don't realize is that professional wrestling, despite its reputation in the mainstream, hurts. A lot. Especially when you're just starting out. Even a maneuver as routine as hitting the ropes comes with a steep learning curve and the bruises to show it. When you go into training for professional wrestling, everything makes you sore and second-guess yourself.

Nobody knows this now more than King Mo. As he recently told

"…my first two weeks at (developmental territory) OVW, I was like, 'Man, what the hell am I doing here.' My back is hurting. My neck is hurting. My heels are hurting, and the right side of my body, from the ropes, was all raw."I had doubts, like, 'I don't know if I can do this.' I really had doubts."

For a guy like Mo, that's saying a lot. He's not just confident and charismatic. He's also a gifted athlete and a smart hand that has excelled at every sport he's stepped into. That includes MMA, which he entered coming out of amateur wrestling and in quick fashion became one of the hottest prospects at 205 pounds.

So the question isn't whether Mo can once again attain championship gold in MMA or if he'll be successful in pro wrestling. The question is, can he handle the rigors of both?

We'll find out this Thursday when he steps in the ring against Polish striker Przemyslaw Mysiala on the next edition of Bellator MMA, live at 10/9c on Spike.

(Photo: Esther Lin/ Forza LLC/ Getty Images)