Published on Thursday, 05 April 2012 07:25
Written by Super User
Part 2: You Don't Kow Mo
By Jody Kohn
King Mo has been front page in the news for the past week after his well publicized release from Twitter. The release was just the latest in a series of negative events that have plagued Mo over the past several months. To his credit, he has bent, but never broken in what seems like a never ending string of bad luck. Lesser men would surely have caved in to the pressure.
Things seemed to be going in a great direction following Lawal's easy victory over Lorenz Larkin at the most recent Strikeforce event. It appeared a rematch with Feijao Cavalcante, the lone man to defeat him, was on the immediate horizon. Furthermore, Strikeforce appeared to be on the brink of being absolved, opening the doors for Mo to enter the UFC. There Mo's talent and charisma would likely catapult him to knew levels of both popularity and earnings. Unfortunately, the victory over Larkin would the last positive thing to happen in Mo's fighting career for quite awhile.
Shortly after his dominating victory, the shocking news came out that Mo had failed his post fight drug test for PED's. The failed test would put Mo in limbo as he was suspended pending his appearance before the Nevada State Athletic Commission. The failure surprised most as Mo has a long history in the sport and had never had any issues in either mma or in amateur wrestling.
Lawal himself stated he did not know how he had failed. A look at his supplements would reveal that he was taking one that had recently been banned without Mo's knowledge. Of course ignorance is no excuse, so Mo prepared to take his punishment, only wishing to defend the circumstances behind the failed test.
Almost immediately after, another horrible event took place. A nasty staph infection invaded Mo's knee. The infection was very serious and at times there were concerns whether Mo's leg or potentially even his life were at risk. Mo himself was at a breaking point, wondering if all the medicine and rehab were worth it. But like the true warrior he is, Mo persevered.
Still hobbled by the infection, Mo made his way to Las Vegas for his now infamous hearing before the NSAC. Mo was not there to claim innocence. He was willing to take his punishment like a man. What he was there to do was explain the circumstances behind the failed test, hoping the board might show some leniency. He could have just called in, but he wanted to be there in person to give his side. You would think his going out of his way might have helped his case. it didn't.
Almost immediately Commissioner Lundvall took to the attack. She asked Mo, who had been there speaking for quite some time if he could read or write English. Well, there is no doubt asking that, and with the tone she did, was at best bitchy. To Mo, an educated, proud black man who has worked very hard in his life to achieve, both athletically and educationally, it also seemed to have a tinge of racism to it. I can certainly see where a person in his position might think that.
Mo remained calm, however, and stayed composed throughout the remainder of the hearing. After several more tense moments, the board casually announced Mo would receive the harshest of penalties with no reduction for the extenuating circumstances. A nine month suspension, $39,000 fine and the result of his latest fight was overturned to a no contest was the decision handed down.
Obviously dismayed, Mo took to twitter, a move never advisable when you are angry. He first stated he wasted his time coming to Vegas. That much was clear. When he followed up by saying Lundvall was a "racist bitch," things hit the fan. Within hours Zuffa's people were in touch with Mo's people informing him of his release.
I am not here defending the tweet. It never should have been made. Unfortunately twitter has come around and caused a lot of trouble for people who perhaps should calm down and think before they send out any tweets made in anger. Previously, statements made in anger to just a few close friends can now be made to millions, blowing up in the senders face in mere minutes.
For Mo, he had been beaten up by life in recent months. The physical toll to his body and mental anguish he had been through were enough to break any man. The failed test was an embarrassment to a fighter who had always fought to keep the sport clean. And now, this woman seemed to want to take the last thing he had left, pride in himself as a black man who had reached the highest levels of education and athletics. That was the final straw for Mo.
The backlash was immediate. Thinking he had already reached rock bottom, the final nail came with his release. Now he was hurt, suspended, and unemployed. No matter if you are his fan or not, it's hard not to feel for a guy who has gone through so much in such a short time. It's easy for us to sit in judgement, but unless you have walked in his shoes, you don't have the right.
Fortunately, it appears Mo has finally turned the corner. In our final part of the story we will discuss where Mo is now and where he is headed in the future.