MMA notes: King Mo turfed

NEIL SPRINGER, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:26 PM ET

TORONTO - It has gone from bad to worse for Muhammed (King Mo) Lawal.

The former Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion has been released from his contract after he unloaded on a Nevada State Athletic Commission representative via Twitter.

During a hearing on Tuesday, Lawal was suspended for nine months and fined $39,000 stemming from a failed drug test following his January KO victory over Lorenz Larkin. The bout has since been ruled a no contest. Lawal has since attributed the positive test to an over-the-counter supplement.

Prior to the meeting, Lawal was in hospital battling a severe staph infection that threatened to take his leg. After 16 different surgeries and being whittled down to 190 pounds, Lawal was on the mend and able to appear before the NSAC.

However, during the meeting Lawal took offence to questioning from commissioner Pat Lundvall when discussing the subject of the fighter’s substance disclosure form. On the session’s audio recording (tinyurl.com/kingmo-nsac) Lundvall can be heard condescendingly asking Lawal if he is able speak and read English.

Lawal kept quiet during the hearing, but later took to his Twitter account to let off some steam, calling Lundvall a “racist b----.” Strikeforce and UFC parent company Zuffa, LLC subsequently cut him from his contract.

Lawal has long been a polarizing character and it goes without saying he could have handled himself more professionally, but considering everything he’s been through over the last couple months, Zuffa should cut him a little slack.

He’s a talented fighter and if he could take the comment back, he would. In fact, the original Tweet was removed shortly after being posted. Insulting a NSAC official isn’t the smartest thing to do even if she had it coming.

Also, Lawal’s release is grossly inconsistent with the way the company has handed similar incidents involving fighters.

Rashad Evans wasn’t cut after telling former Penn State wrestler Phil Davis “I’m going to put my hands on you worse than that dude did them other kids at Penn State,” at a UFC on FOX 2 press conference.

Forrest Griffin put his foot in his mouth over Twitter, referencing rape, and kept his job, yet a comparable Tweet from bantamweight Miguel Torres saw him fired from the organization for a short period of time. Even commentator Joe Rogan was let off easy after using the word c--- to describe MMA reporter Maggie Hendricks. Let’s not even get started on Chael Sonnen.

If Zuffa wants its fighters to utilize social networking as a means for interacting with fans, perhaps it’s about time to lay down some rules over what’s acceptable.

Because from the outside looking in, it almost appears as though punishment is based solely on star power.

JAKE’S NEW WEIGHT CLASS

Jake Shields is returning to middleweight.

The former Stirkeforce 185-pound champion announced his intentions on Tuesday’s episode of “UFC Tonight” on FUEL TV. An opponent has yet to be named.

Since joining the UFC in 2010, Shields has put together a 2-2 record at welterweight. In his promotional debut, he won a close split decision over Martin Kampmann. After losing consecutive bouts to Georges St. Pierre and Jake Ellenberger, his last outing saw him win an uninspiring unanimous decision over Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 144 in Tokyo.

Prior to joining the UFC, Shields defeated Jason (Mayhem) Miller via unanimous decision to capture the vacant Strikeforce middleweight title in November 2009. He then defended the belt five months later with a unanimous-decision victory over Dan Henderson.

SONNEN HEADED TO RIO

It’s official: Chael Sonnen will enter enemy territory to challenge Anderson Silva for the UFC middleweight championship.

Though expected for some time, the rematch has been confirmed for UFC 147 at the Joao Havelange Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 23.

Though a seating configuration hasn’t been confirmed, the soccer stadium is capable of holding roughly 80,000 partisan fans. The promotion’s current live-attendance record of 55,724 was set at UFC 129 in Toronto last year.

Sonnen dominated Silva for four rounds at UFC 117 in 2010 before getting submitted with less than two minutes on the clock. Though he lost the battle, Sonnen has not let up on the war of words, calling out Silva any time someone sticks a microphone in front of his mouth.

The card will also see another highly-anticipated rematch as current TUF: Brazil coaches Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva will square off in the co-main event. Belfort earned a highlight-reel TKO victory over Silva at UFC: Ultimate Brazil in 1998.


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