Take a look at today's mixed martial arts rankings. Where does Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal fall on them? Wherever it is, he probably doesn't give a (expletive deleted) about them.
Lawal is set to make his first defense of his Strikeforce light heavyweight title on Aug. 21 in Houston against heavy-handed Rafael "Fejao" Cavalcante. The fight will be only the eighth professional bout of Lawal's young career, but he's seen quite a bit of success in the two years he's been fighting.
With his undefeated record intact, Lawal is becoming more and more acknowledged as a top 205-pounder. The numbered position on MMAWebsite.com's rankings page are more hilarity to the Strikeforce champ than anything else.
"To me, rankings are a joke," Lawal told Bleacher Report MMA. "Rankings don't mean nothing because there could be somebody right now that we don't know that could probably beat everybody."
Where is this mystery pound-for-pounder?!
"He could be out in like Budapest, Hungary," said the light heavyweight champion.
Of course, there is no evidence to show there is a Hungarian super-fighter, so no one is overly concerned with going to that part of the world to look for the next great light heavyweight.
Lawal feels that marketing and winning make for a highly-ranked fighter. He himself is marketed pretty well by Strikeforce. That, combined with his current win streak, puts "King Mo" at the top of its 205-pound food chain.
What does he have to do to stay at the top of that food chain? Continue applying his wrestling pedigree, that's what.
In his last outing Lawal dispatched of former champion Gegard Mousasi by consistently putting the Dutch-Armenian fighter on his back and grounding and pounding him en route to a unanimous decision win. Lawal will likely find the same success against Cavalcante.
While fighting "Fejao" remains his primary concern, Lawal opened up about heavyweight aspirations in the immediate future.
"I wouldn't mind fighting heavyweight," said Lawal when talking about this plans after his next fight.
One can only ask who he would want to fight in that division, but Mo didn't mention any names. He was open to anyone and everyone within the heaviest weight class.
When asked about how he would approach the the current heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem, Lawal was forward about what he really thinks of the Dutch mountain of muscle.
"Alistair is a monster, boy," Lawal pointed out. "Whew! That's tough fight, but you know what? I'll find a way to win, and, the thing is, I'm not going to reveal how...I think I could [win]."
With a win at Strikeforce: Houston, the sky would be the limit for the light heavyweight king. At that time he'd have his opportunity to decide where he wants to go with his MMA career, but Rafael Cavalcante is the first thing he has to think about before he moves forward.
He'll be waiting for "King Mo" in the cage in Houston this Saturday.
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