It’s rare for athletes in combat sports to ride off into the sunset with a win.
Oklahoma State wrestling alum Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal was no exception as he was knocked out in his retirement fight in 1 minute, 22 seconds by Andrew Kapel on Friday at Bellator 233 at WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma.
Kapel (15-6, 1-0 Bellator) threw a body kick which Lawal (21-10, 10-7) caught, but when Lawal went to counter Kapel caught him with a wicked right cross to the jaw.
Lawal’s body went stiff as he clearly went unconscious, but referee Jerin Velel didn’t stop Kapel from throwing more shots before calling the fight as Kapel won his fifth straight bout. Lawal attempted to rise to his feet afterwards and fell face-first back to the mat.
Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal's retirement is destined for tragedy, as Andrew Kapel (15-6) slays the former RIZIN GP and Strikeforce champ on one leg! It's a stunning Bellator debut for the Elevation rep, now on a five-fight tear. He has stopped 14, 13 in round one. #Bellator233 pic.twitter.com/QOjXjLVDSP— Kyle Johnson (@VonPreux) November 9, 2019
The 38-year-old Lawal was once considered one of the best light heavyweights as a former Strikeforce champion. He also won the Japanese-based promotion Rizin’s heavyweight grand prix in 2015. The former All-American and 2003 NCAA national team champion, ends his MMA career with four straight losses.
“It’s my last fight I had a great time fighting,” Lawal told John McCarthy during a post-fight interview after putting his gloves down on the mat. “It is what it is man.”
Lawal has already started coaching at American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida, alongside fellow OSU alum Steve Mocco.
Fellow OSU alum Kyle Crutchmer won his Bellator debut earlier in the night by unanimous decision against Robert Gidron.