Quinton “Rampage” Jackson will look to continue his explosive ways when he battles Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal this weekend at Bellator 120 in Southaven, Miss. The Season 10 light heavyweight tournament final will produce the next challenger for 205-pound champion Emanuel Newton.
Jackson has made a successful transition to Bellator by recording a pair of knockouts. The former UFC star made his promotional debut by blasting out Joey Beltran in the first round and punched his ticket to the tournament final by finishing Christian M’Pumbu in brutal fashion at Bellator 110.
“Rampage” may not be the destructive force he once was during his days in Pride and as a UFC light heavyweight champion, but he still possesses formidable punching power. Jackson has 16 knockouts in his 34 career victories and has been in with many of the sport’s best during his very successful and colorful career. His most notable victory came at UFC 71 when he knocked out the legendary Chuck Liddell to win the light heavyweight title. He also holds career wins over Wanderlei Silva and Dan Henderson.
“King Mo” is hoping to make the most of a matchup that he’s wanted for quite a long time. Lawal hasn’t lived up to the hype so far in his Bellator career, amassing a 4-2 record, but he can certainly change all of that with an impressive performance against “Rampage”. Lawal is coming off a unanimous decision victory at Bellator 110 in what was a rather tedious affair against Mikhail Zayats. “King Mo” will be hoping to earn a third crack at Newton who has already defeated him twice, including once by spectacular knockout.
Lawal has an impressive wrestling background and seems to be at his best when he uses that in combination with his formidable ground-and-pound game. While he has good boxing skills, a firefight against Jackson might not be the best strategy. Of Lawal’s 12 career victories, nine have come by knockout. The biggest win of his career came back in 2010 when he defeated Gegard Mousasi by decision to earn the Strikeforce title.
Bellator’s Season 10 light heavyweight tournament was clearly put together to produce this fight as the final. It will be intriguing to see if the so-called ‘grudge match’ angle will produce an exciting contest between these two rivals.
Jackson and Lawal definitely have the skills to produce an entertaining affair. Hopefully they’ll make the most of being promoted to main event PPV status by producing a fan-friendly fight to settle their feud.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports