‘King Mo’ to fight Cro Cop at Rizin Tournament

Rizin FF’s upcoming heavyweight grand prix recently added a major player.

Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal, coming off his latest victory in the Bellator cage, will fight in the Japanese promotion’s tournament against Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic. Lawal replaces MMA veteran Wanderlei Silva, who was expected to face Cro Cop in the grand prix tourney.

MMAJunkie first reported the news.

Lawal last fought at Bellator 169 this weekend, where he defeated Satoshi Ishii by unanimous decision.

Bellator announced during the Bellator 169 broadcast that Lawal would be participating in the Rizin tournament, though his opponent had not been announced at the time.

Lawal won Rizin’s heavyweight grand prix in 2015 as part of an 8-1 run. His last loss came to current Bellator champion Phil Davis. By defeating Ishii, King Mo earned another shot at Davis to avenge his controversial loss in a three-round fight earlier this year.

Lawal vs. Cro Cop will be one leg of the quarterfinals, which will take place on Dec. 29 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. On New Year’s Eve, two days later, the semifinals will be held.

It was also announced that former UFC veteran Heath Herrig will replace Shane Carwin in a quarterfinal matchup against Amir Aliakbari. Herrig has not fought since 2008.

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