SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Conor McGregor competence be reigniting a trend of jumping around weight classes. But he certainly didn’t start it, according to Muhammed Lawal.
McGregor left a multiplication where he is champion, featherweight, to quarrel Nate Diaz during welterweight final month. He’ll quarrel Diaz again during that weight during UFC 200 in July. McGregor and Diaz both done it transparent they didn’t “give a f*ck” about weight classes and that was a vital offered indicate of their fight, that could finish adult being a top grossing of all time for a UFC.
“King Mo” has talked about being a “moneyweight” for years, competing during light heavyweight and heavyweight and even flirting with middleweight. He doesn’t consider McGregor should get any adore for starting a trend — and he doesn’t consider he should, either.
“People wish to credit Conor McGregor, how about guys like Din Thomas?” Lawal pronounced during a Bellator media day Friday. “Din Thomas is a strange moneyweight fighter. Sakuraba was a strange moneyweight fight. Royce Gracie was a strange moneyweight fighter. I’m a reversion fighter. These guys behind afterwards didn’t caring about weight class.”
Lawal, 35, will accommodate Phil Davis in a light heavyweight underline hitch in a categorical eventuality of Bellator 154 on May 14 in San Jose. Over New Year’s week, “King Mo” won a Rizin Fighting Federation heavyweight grand prix tournament. And final year, he kick Cheick Kongo during heavyweight in Bellator and also would have left to a Dynamite 205-pound contest final if not for an injury.
Lawal is anticipating to face Bellator heavyweight champion Vitaly Minakov if he beats Davis subsequent month. Then, he’d be down for a champion vs. champion hitch opposite light heavyweight titleholder Liam McGeary. “King Mo” doesn’t imagination himself as any kind of pioneer, though.
“Now all of a remarkable people wish to give a credit to Conor?” Lawal said. “Or me? we don’t merit credit for nothing. I’m duplicating what these guys did behind in a past. These guys fought when there were no weight classes.”
Lawal (19-4, 1 NC) does give McGregor copiousness of props for being a showman. “King Mo” has denied for a prolonged time that MMA is a sport; he’s a follower that it’s all about a spectacle. And McGregor is a enactment of that.
“That’s since Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey get so most burn, since they know that it’s entertainment,” Lawal said. “You gotta go out there and we gotta sell your product. That’s since they get so most burn. Some cats are like, ‘Well, he’s one ruin of a competitor. we went out there and gave it my all and we came divided with a victory.’ People are sitting there like, ‘Let me get some popcorn. F*ck what this dude is articulate about.'”
“King Mo” pronounced he’s not a outrageous fan of MMA. He’s a longtime pro-wrestling fan and likes to watch up-and-coming churned martial humanities promotions like Legacy FC, Titan FC and Invicta FC (and Bellator, of course), though he doesn’t imagination himself as a large fan of a competition he competes in.
“People wish to be entertained,” Lawal said. “They wish to be entertained when you’re entrance to a cage, while you’re in a enclosure and when we leave a cage. They wish to be entertained. That’s like pro-wrestling sh*t. we went to Ring of Honor and we was entertained from start to finish. we watched Wrestlemania. Wrestlemania was alright, it was good. But we was entertained. MMA, infrequently you’re like, ‘Damn this is boring.'”
The earlier a whole MMA universe embraces being entertainment, Lawal said, a improved off everybody will be. Promotions like a UFC can’t have it both ways.
“It’s entertainment,” Lawal said. “For instance, CM Punk. we like CM Punk. we wish him to do good, we wish him to win his fight, though he has no knowledge and he’s in a UFC. But we can’t whack him. He brings eyes to a network. So yeah, we pointer him. And when he fights, he’s gonna do over a million buys. we know he will. And he’s gonna win.”
“King Mo” points to UFC 197 as a primary example. Daniel Cormier, a UFC’s light heavyweight champion, fell off with an injury, so Jon Jones will now take on Ovince Saint Preux. The halt light heavyweight pretension will be on a line. Why? Well, since not?
“There’s no loyal ranking system,” Lawal said. “My child Daniel Cormier is a champion, got hurt, now they got an halt belt. Jon Jones is fighting OSP. OSP’s record a final 3 fights is what, 2-1? Why didn’t Glover Teixeira get a pretension shot?
“There’s no loyal ranking system. That sh*t is fume and mirrors only to get fans involved. There ain’t no loyal ranking complement in this sh*t.”
Bellator has embraced a party aspect of MMA unquestionably and no one in a graduation is sanctimonious otherwise. Kimbo Slice has been a categorical eventuality or co-main eventuality in a dual top rated events in Bellator history. There’s apparently a marketplace for what Slice brings to table, even if he isn’t a best warrior in a universe or appearing on anyone’s rankings list.
“[The UFC] had Kimbo first,” Lawal said. “Entertainment. How come nobody was bashing them when they sealed Kimbo behind then? They had Tank Abbott. People watched Tank Abbott, since he’d go out there and entertain. MMA is entertainment.”
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And “moneyweight” is a product of that and has been for years. Just don’t contend it’s since of McGregor, Lawal said.