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Bellator's Rebney expects Lawal TNA Wrestling debut in October, Bellator in January Empty Bellator's Rebney expects Lawal TNA Wrestling debut in October, Bellator in January

Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:08 pm
It will be one of the most unique talent-share deals in sports when it finally gets under way, but Bjorn Rebney already is starting to geek out about it.

The Bellator CEO will have to wait until the new year to utilize Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal in his cage. But later this fall, he'll get to watch his new star build a new fanbase with the pro wrestling audience.

Lawal (8-1 MMA, 0-0 BFC) is expected to make his TNA Impact Wrestling debut next month before returning to MMA in January – when he'll begin moving back and forth between the two.

And though some of the fine print still is being worked out, Rebney believes Bellator and TNA President Dixie Carter nailed it when they signed Lawal to a deal in May that will allow "King Mo" to have his feet in both worlds. TNA's "Impact" airs on Spike TV, the same cable network Bellator moves to in January.

"He's got an electrifying personality, and he's the perfect guy that Dixie and I have been looking for literally for the last year to fill both of those spots," Rebney recently told ( "He calls me once or twice a week to talk about what's going on in Impact – he knows more about the history of Impact than probably most of the people that are currently in Impact. He's awesome. Sometimes bad things happen for a reason."

Those "bad things" were well documented. In January, Lawal knocked out Lorenz Larkin at "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine." But after the fight, he tested positive for the banned steroid Drostanolone. At a March hearing in front of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, Lawal pointed blame at an over-the-counter supplement, but was fined $39,000 and suspended for nine months.

After the hearing, Lawal lashed out at NSAC commissioner Pat Lundvall on Twitter, angry at a line of questioning she had for him in which she asked if he read and understood English. After calling her a "racist bitch" on Twitter, Zuffa President Dana White cut Lawal from Strikeforce. That paved the way for his Bellator/TNA signing – even though White late said he would be open to bringing Lawal back after the amateur wrestling standout called Lundvall to personally apologize.

With Lawal nearing full recovery from major surgery on his left knee, Rebney has a time table lined up for when Lawal will be start his work for both companies.

"Probably late October (for TNA), and then obviously he'll do as much 'Impact' as he can do until he has to get hyper-focused on his first fight for us, which will be right at the beginning of January," Rebney said.

But just how sharing Lawal back and forth between the two is going to play out still is a work in progress. "Impact" tapes at Universal Studios in Orlando. Bellator, of course, hosts events around the country and in Canada – so Lawal could be building up his frequent-flyer miles.

But how much time off from "Impact" will Lawal need to jump right back into a camp for Bellator?

"We're kind of trying to work through it right now to see," Rebney said. "Mo's always in the gym, so when you ask him that question, he says, 'Well, I can jump back and forth between the two lily pads pretty easily. I'm never out of shape, so I don't need to do a two-and-a-half-month hyper-intensive camp. If I focus for six weeks and watch tape, I'm going to be ready for my first fight.'

"So I would say in an ideal situation, he'll be able to bounce – literally be able to do 'Impact,' do his first fight for Bellator, maybe take a little bit of time to do an 'Impact' taping, then come back and do another fight for Bellator. But we'll see. It's never been done. Brock (Lesnar) did one, then did the other, then went back and do the other. But no one's ever done both at the same time as hyper-intensively as he will."

Rebney does know one thing for sure, though. Lawal's deal allowing him to do both has plenty of other MMA fighters interested in doing the same. Even his lightweight champion, Michael Chandler, was caught messing around with Lawal while in Orlando taping promotional spots for Bellator's upcoming eighth season and Spike debut.

"Only about 50 – we got a lot of calls and a lot of emails," Rebney said. "Chandler and Mo were together and I think it was Mo that was busting a chair over Chandler's head. It's a very cool concept. It takes a special persona – it takes a special guy, because that's a very unique skill set that allows you to do that."
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Bellator's Rebney expects Lawal TNA Wrestling debut in October, Bellator in January Empty Re: Bellator's Rebney expects Lawal TNA Wrestling debut in October, Bellator in January

Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:23 pm
It will be sweet seeing Mo in the Bellator cage. I hope Vegh takes out M'Pumbu for the LHW title and Mo gets through the tournament. A Mo vs. Vegh match would be sweet.

It would be cool too if Rampage comes over to Bellator after his last fight with the UFC. I could see him as Mo's tag team partner in TNA wrestling followed by a break up which sends the two into a real fight in the Bellator cage. Not much of a pro wrestling fan anymore but I could see this playing out this way.

MMA Major Leagues: UFC, RIZIN, Bellator, KSW, PFL, ROAD FC, ONE, Fight Nights, M-1 Global, ACA
Isaiah 53, Daniel 9:25-27, Acts 4:12
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