Muhammed Lawal now has an opponent for his Bellator Fighting Championships debut, as “King Mo” faces Przemyslaw Mysiala in a light heavyweight quarterfinal bout at Bellator 86.
Promotion officials announced the news Wednesday, also revealing that Bellator 86 will serve as the first of three planned appearances this year at the Winstar World Casino in Thackerville, Okla. The Jan. 24 event airs live on Spike TV and is headlined by a welterweight title collision between reigning champion Ben Askren and challenger Karl Amoussou.
Lawal, 31, has been through much in 2012, first knocking out Lorenz Larkin in January before having that victory changed to a no-contest by the Nevada Athletic Commission following a failed post-fight drug test. Lawal, who maintains he is innocent of taking the anabolic steroid for which he tested positive, was also released from his Strikeforce contract after calling NAC commissioner Pat Lundvall a “racist b---h” on Twitter following what Lawal believed to be a condescending line of questioning during his commission hearing. The light heavyweight later apologized for his use of the term.
A staph infection contracted from knee surgery then seriously threatened Lawal’s health as he served the nine-month suspension handed down by the NAC. After recovering from the infection, the former NCAA Division I All-American wrestler announced this past May that he had signed contracts to compete for both Bellator and TNA Wrestling.
Lawal won the Strikeforce light heavyweight crown from Gegard Mousasi in April 2010 but relinquished the belt to Rafael Cavalcante just four months later in his first title defense. “King Mo” rebounded with a knockout of Roger Gracie to close out 2011 before facing Larkin on Jan. 7 at “Rockhold vs. Jardine.”
Meanwhile, Mysiala has won six of his last eight. The Pole was perfect last year, returning from a year on the sideline to post post back-to-back victories over Englishmen Chris Harman and M-1 veteran Shamil Tinagadjiev. Most recently, Mysiala competed on March 24 at BAMMA 9, falling by doctor’s stoppage to Golden Glory product Jason Jones.