Few Bellator fighters were as critical of and unahppy with former Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney as light heavyweight star Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal. He called Rebney names and said that if he saw him again, he'd lay hands on him, and presumabley not in a loving church way.
So, the outspoken wrestler was predictably happy when Rebney not only left Bellator, but when he was replaced by the man he used to work with in Strikeforce, Scott Coker. Lawal signed an extension with Bellator and faces Dustin Jacoby this Friday at the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut.
Lawal says that he can already feel a change in the atmosphere in Bellator. "There's an overall change in the atmosphere," he says.
"I think everybody is happy, not just me. There's a change in energy. I'm glad it happened. I'm surprised it happened."
It's not just that Lawal doesn't like Rebney, he also really likes Coker. Lawal has said in the past that the best years of his career were when he was in Strikeforce, while Coker ran it and before Zuffa took it over.
"[Coker] is respectful," Lawal says.
"He is a martial artist so he is respectful of the hard work we put in. You won't see him bash fighters. And, he's just truthful. A lot of guys in this sport are far from truthful."
In his fight this Friday, Lawal will fight a mirror image of himself, in many ways. Jacoby is a strong kick boxer, whereas Lawal, while possessing KO power in his strikes, is still a grappler at heart.
The 33 year-old had continued to work with American Top Team in Florida and says he's been working with enough strikers to be ready for battle this week. "[Jacoby] is a striker and a tough guy," he says.
"But I've been training for kickboxers, luckily. And, better and more polished kickboxers, actually. So, I'll still be prepared to win."