Before entering MMA, Muhammed Lawal competed in wrestling during high school and college. In his senior year, competing at Oklahoma State after three years at the University of Central Oklahoma, Lawal was a Big 12 Conference champion, Division I All-American and university national freestyle champion. Lawal won three gold medals, a silver and a bronze while competing at the United States Championships from 2004 to 2008. He also won a gold medal at the 2007 Pan American Championships and a silver medal at the 2007 Wrestling World Cup.
Lawal made his professional MMA debut in September 2008, and after five fights, he was signed to Strikeforce. He defeated Gegard Mousasi to become the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion in April 2010, but lost the title in his first defense. After Strikeforce’s closure, Lawal debuted in Bellator. Lawal lost a shot at the interim Bellator Light Heavyweight title at Bellator 106, and he fell short of winning the season 10 light heavyweight contender tournament, losing out to rival Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
Lawal also has experiences at heavyweight. In December 2015, Lawal won the Rizin Heavyweight Grand Prix.
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