Former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Muhammed Lawal is back in action a week from Saturday when he takes on grappling sensation Roger Gracie on the main card of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Tournament on Sept. 10 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
So why is he so irritated?
Turns out the "King" isn't digging the culture of his kingdom, which according to the decorated freestyle wrestler, is full of "stupid" fight fans who don't bother to educate themselves.
"I love the sport, but I don't like the culture," Lawal told Pro MMA Radio. "There's a lot of fans that aren't educated and they don't care to get educated, they're stupid, man. Good fighters ... when they lose? All of the sudden they're cans. Look at Fedor. He went undefeated for how many years and all of the sudden he lost a few fights and he's a can, he sucks. You know what I'm saying? C'mon, man. When Michael Jordan signed with the Wizards, did he suck? When Ali got beat by Trevor Berbick, did he suck? A lot of these MMA fans, they don't understand any other sport. Ask them to name five boxing champions, they probably could name none. Name five top level kickboxers, they probably can't name none. Name three top International wrestlers. They couldn't name none. They don't take time to research top level stuff. They just listen to what the announcers say and don't take the time to research."
Note to MMA fans: Do your homework!
Lawal hasn't been in the cage since Aug. 2010, when he dropped his 205-pound strap to Rafael Cavalcante in his first title defense after winning the belt from Gegard Mousasi.
Can he fend off the grappling prowess of his opponent and return to form on fight night?
After injuries and a myriad of other problems kept Gracie from competing, the Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) Superfight Champion finally made his Strikeforce debut at the "Heavy Artillery" Showtime event in May 2010, strangling Kevin Randleman to notch his third win in as many tries.
The victory was Gracie's first on U.S. soil since throwing his hat into the sport way back in December 2006. He followed that up with yet another submission victory, a first round choke-out of well-traveled veteran Trevor Prangley.
Lawal is a big step up for the budding mixed martial artist -- can he handle it?
And will the "stupid" fans appreciate it if he does?