A rematch between two mixed martial artists who have seemingly been around forever, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson and ‘King Mo’, Muhammed Lawal, headlines Bellator 175. These two fought a contentious battle in May 2014 at Bellator 120 in which Rampage’s hand was raised at the end of three rounds. The decision was to the contrary of many fans and media scorecards who had tuned into the fight. A quick glance at MMA Decisions shows that just one of 13 media scores submitted for the first bout scored Jackson as the winner.
If you don’t find two older guys who are past their prime battle it out in the cage that exciting, you can at least appreciate the trash talk between these two fighters. Most notably, King Mo has taken plenty of shots at Rampage’s weight, calling him “kinda old” and “kinda fat”. Rampage, unsurprisingly, didn’t take too well to hearing these kinds of insults but came back by admitting it hurt the most because he realises himself just how bad of shape he is currently in. Rampage enjoys the trash talk, however, and mentions “that’s what I need. I wish more of my opponents would talk sh*t like ‘King Mo’.”
Rampage had his greatest success, as per most of his fights, standing up with King Mo in the first fight and will be looking to keep this one on the feet. While King Mo’s boxing skills shouldn’t be underestimated, Rampage’s extreme power can put anybody to sleep and isn’t worth taking the risk of trading blows.
King Mo approaches every one of his bouts with a calculated and tactical gameplan, and we can be assured he takes no risks standing in front of Rampage’s heavy hands. He’ll instead look to incorporate his wrestling and grappling into his strategy, much like last time. Rampage will be prepared for this; however, it will just come down to whether or not he can stop the takedowns of King Mo.
King Mo was criticised in the first fight for maybe not doing enough with his dominant positions on the ground, and this was what let him down on the scorecards. King Mo lost round 3, a round in which he maintained top control for the majority of the round but wasn’t able to land enough damaging shots on Rampage to influence the judge’s decision.
Potentially the biggest determining factor in the rematch is the weight class. The bout is scheduled to take place at heavyweight, but it looks as though King Mo will come in 20-30 pounds less than Rampage. King Mo is in-shape and will be looking to gas Rampage through the second and third round. Alternatively, King Mo might not find so much success in wrestling against the much heavier Rampage, who is naturally the larger and stronger competitor. It’s hard to know how this weight difference will play out, but I’m leaning towards it favouring King Mo as it represents him being in better overall shape than Rampage.
I’m fully expecting this one to play out how the first fight should have – King Mo grinds out a decision victory as he out-wrestles and frustrates Rampage Jackson for the entirety of the fight. Rampage may have glimpses of opportunity on the feet but it is quickly squashed by Mo’s grappling.
Muhammed Lawal v Quinton Jackson
Muhammed Lawl to win via Decision
Saturday 1st April, 02:30 GMT
Odds: -125 – 32Red