King Mo: "We're just waiting for StrikeForce to die"
"Business as usual."
Remember that? It's what Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White used as the mantra for the acquisition process regarding the Strikeforce organization.
It all started in March of 2011, when Zuffa bought Strikeforce and fans were told that it would not be a merger. Strikeforce would keep doing what they were doing and the UFC would do the same.
Separate entities, right?
Fast forward to almost six months later. In the time that has passed, one of Strikeforce's champions (welterweight Nick Diaz) has vacated his belt and jumped ships to the UFC. Two other Strikeforce champions, Alistair Overeem and Dan Henderson, are no longer under contract.
Most believe that Strikeforce's lightweight champion, Gilbert Melendez, will also be leaving the fold, just as soon as he gets an offer from the UFC.
People outside the Strikeforce organization have been open and honest about the outlook for the one-time Scott Coker led promotion. Until now, no one inside the organization has been willing to go on record with a critically realistic prediction of how things will go down.
"King Mo" Muhammed Lawal told Ariel Helwani what he thinks it means to be a Strikeforce champion these days.
"The thing is, what's the point? What's the point of having the belt when it's been vacated, and the person who vacated it is still fighting somewhere else within the same umbrella, but not the same organization?"
Lawal was surprisingly honest with Helwani during his interview on the MMA Hour, stating that he believes Strikeforce's days are numbered.
"It feels a little weird, because it's not the same," Lawal said. "It's like a cancer patient, like a dying cancer patient. That's how I feel like the organization is. We're just waiting for it to die, to pass. As long as I can get my fights in and they're still around, I want to get them in."
Everyone was thinking it. Lawal just had the "set" to say it.
On Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011, Lawal will take on Roger Gracie at the Strikeforce Grand Prix: "Barnett vs. Kharitonov" in Cincinnati, Ohio. They will be contending for a chance to fight for a title that Lawal apparently believes is no longer worth his trouble.
Hopefully, Lawal will view the 4-0 Gracie as worthy of his undivided attention.