Scott Coker says ‘King Mo’ is family, envisions ongoing Bellator role

NEW YORK – Muhammed Lawalwill play an ongoing role with Bellator if promotion president Scott Coker gets his way.

“He’s part of the family,” Coker said Wednesday when asked about “King Mo’s” decision to retire after more than a decade of fighting.

Whether it’s teaching seminars or working behind the scenes, Coker wants to keep Lawal busy and plans to have a sitdown meeting to determine the exact job. Coker had a “touching” conversation with Lawal upon hearing the news of his retirement and agreed the fighter should hang up his gloves if he’s lost his taste for violence.

“When a fighter reaches that realization, it’s time to retire,” Coker told MMA Junkie. “Not only are you striking someone, someone’s striking you. You’re in harm’s way, as well. So it’s time to let it go and let the young guys fight.”

Lawal isn’t the only Bellator fighter who’s voiced misgivings about the profession. Welterweight champion Rory MacDonald questioned whether he wanted to continue on after a majority draw against Jon Fitch, which set up a fight with Neiman Gracie on Saturday at Bellator 222 from Madison Square Garden.

MacDonald later walked back his remarks, which Coker attributed to the heat of the moment.

“He was speaking from the heart,” Coker said. “He was depleted physically, emotionally, spiritually, but by the following Wednesday, he was ready to go.”

Lawal told MMA Junkie that his decision wasn’t just about his mindset, but his physical limitations. Years of damage had left him with several major injuries that were unlikely to improve without more surgeries.

Coker praised Lawal for his contributions as a Strikeforce and Bellator fighter and added “his future will still be with Bellator.”

For more on Bellator 222, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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