Quinton Jackson vs. Muhammed Lawal: Full Head-to-Toe Breakdown
Bellator 120 was marketed as the third fight in an epic trilogy between Michael Chandler and Eddie Alvarez. It is now banking on another fight to draw pay-per-view buys, as that fight is no longer the top billing.
Light heavyweights Rampage Jackson and King Mo Lawal are now at the top of the card and will be relied on to snag significant pay-per-view buys. This fight is highlighted by a feud that almost feels forced and has a pro wrestling feel.
That being said, it is an intriguing matchup between two ghosts of MMA's past. With that, let's break down the fight and match these men up from head to toe.
Both men have started this sport off as wrestlers. Since then, they have added boxing to their repertoire.
Lawal has worked with the Mayweather camp to improve his hands, as well as American Kickboxing Academy. The problem is that he has moved away from what made him successful in wrestling and tried to become a one-dimensional striker.
He does own nine wins via knockout, however most of those are ground-and-pound finishes. He is best when he is using strikes up to snag takedowns.
Rampage, on the other hand, owns 16 wins via knockout, with at least more than a handful coming on the feet over ground-and-pound. Rampage is very good in defending strikes with his hands and finding his distance on power shots.
Lawal has improved no doubt, but his striking is nowhere near Rampage.
Edge: Rampage Jackson
Rampage Jackson used to be a wrestling-heavy fighter when he was with Pride, but as mentioned he prefers to throw on the feet now. The same can somewhat be said for King Mo Lawal, though wrestling should still be his bread and butter.
Jackson rarely uses his wrestling anymore, whereas Lawal has used it in recent stoppages of Seth Petruzelli and Jacob Noe. That is something he will need to get back to here against Jackson.
Jackson has shown holes in his takedown defense before, but those were against elite wrestlers. From what Lawal has shown recently, I don't think he is that elite when it comes to his takedowns anymore.
Still, Mo gets the slight nod here.
Edge: King Mo Lawal
Let's face it. King Mo Lawal and Rampage Jackson are no Rickson Gracie or Kazushi Sakuraba when it comes to submission and grappling skill. In fact, between them, they combine for seven submissions, all of which have been achieved by Jackson.
This part of the game will likely be a non-factor in this fight, as even if it does go to the ground, it will be a wrestling/positional ground fight.
We will call this a push by default.
When fight night comes, I think it's safe to say one man will have a clear overall advantage over the other. That man is Rampage Jackson.
Jackson has sort of revamped himself in Bellator by drubbing Joey Beltran and Christian M'Pumbu. It has shown that he can still beat most guys that aren't elite, which was also seen in the UFC late in his career there.
Lawal has struggled in Bellator. Between losing twice to Emanuel Newton and barely beating Mikhail Zayats in his last fight, he has really been exposed as overrated from his Strikeforce days.
Lawal will not get Jackson to the mat. Jackson will use a calculating approach on the feet which will see him hit counterstrikes on an overzealous Lawal.
I don't know if Jackson will finish Lawal or not, but for the sake of the whole pay-per-view, I will go out on a limb and say he will.
Prediction: Jackson def. Lawal via TKO (punches) in Round 3