Heavy is the head that wears the crown.
After defeating Lorenz Larkin in his last mixed martial arts (MMA) fight on Jan. 7, 2012, Lawal had his victory overturned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) because of a positive drug test that indicated his use of steroids (drostanolone).
The news just gets worse.
According to Robert Joyner (who writes freelance MMA articles for Sport Illustrated), "King Mo" was very recently in some dire straits:
"On the King Mo situation, hearing from those close to him he's in a bad situation. He got injured in the Larkin fight, had to get another ACL. There were complications and he ended up with a very bad staph infection that was life threatening, and nearly required amputation. Mo had to have five surgeries in 12 days before staph was gone. Currently he's taking an IV directly into his heart every day for six weeks. Making the situation even worse, this was a recurrence of same injury within 18 months, so Zuffa/SF insurance won't cover the ACL surgery or the subsequent follow-ups for the staph. Mo is/will have to come out of pocket on medical bills that may well reach into six figures."
More on this after the jump:
Apparently, the situation is not quite as rough as originally reported. Josh Gross of ESPN weighed in on the subject, via Twitter, stating that Lawal did, in fact, have to pay for the procedures out of pocket, but that he is stable now and recovering:
"Lawal paid out of pocket b/c Zuffa insurance won't cover same injury within 18 month period. And it didn't happen in a fight. Mike Kogan (Lawal's manager) just told me the infection is under control. Lawal is on IV antibiotics for 6 weeks. Taking pain meds. Then rehab."
Sounds like all is well, for the most part.
The infamous "Front Row Brian" (known largely for his activity on Sherdog and The Underground), caught up with Lawal and reported that "King Mo" is doing well, too:
"Just got off the phone w/ @KingMoFH. He's in Detroit w/ friends. He wants to make it clear he's feeling well & is NOT in any financial peril. @KingMoFH still has a PICC line to his heart though. PICC = peripherally inserted central catheter. Mo says he'll be back training in 6 wks. @KingMoFH also wants to make it clear he's very happy with Zuffa's medical insurance and his out of pocket expense was minimal."
Reports of Lawal's demise may have been greatly exaggerated ... or at least a little bit. Sorry, Rampage.
Either way, it's good to hear that he is recovering and is out of the woods, as far anything seriously harmful.