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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
Former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal may be all over Spike TV in 2013. According to a report from Sherdog.com, Lawal will be signing a joint deal with Bellator Fighting Championships and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.
Lawal is currently serving a nine month suspension for failing a steroid test in January, and recovering from a series of battles with staph infection following knee surgery that month as well. That suspension, and some incendiary comments made to one particular member of the Nevada State Athletic Commission after his hearing, led him to be released from his Zuffa contract.
That opened up the doors to look elsewhere, and though he won't be ready to compete until later this year, he'll be joining both rosters, competing in MMA and pro wrestling simultaneously. Bobby Lashley had a similar deal when he took part in TNA early in his MMA career, but he was fighting in considerably lower profile promotions than Bellator.
Though Bellator currently airs on MTV2, they will be moving to Spike TV in January once Spike TV's ownership of the UFC's library expires. With Lawal on both Bellator and TNA programming, he'll have a large presence on the network.
Penick's Analysis: Lawal has always expressed an interest in doing pro wrestling, and his "King Mo" gimmick will likely translate well in that environment. This is a very unique deal, and it's going to be interesting to see how he handles his time between training and taking part in TNA programming. If he takes part in a tournament he'll be fighting quite often. There's a lot still unknown about the deal at this point, but with him wanting to do some pro wrestling on top of MMA, it's the right fit for him.
UPDATE: Lawal's signing was officially announced this afternoon jointly by Spike TV, TNA, and Bellator. Lawal will debut in TNA this summer, and will enter a 205 lb. tournament in Bellator next year when Bellator moves to Spike TV.
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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