It hasn't been a banner year for former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Muhammed Lawal.
Not at all.
"King Mo" tested positive for steroids following a knockout win over Lorenz Larkin earlier this year, then contracted such a serious staph infection that he didn't care if he died, was fined $39,000 and suspended for nine months from mixed martial arts (MMA) competition for "taking his punishment like a man" and now has been handed his official walking papers.
That's right, Zuffa -- the parent company of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Strikeforce -- has released Lawal from his contract because of the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) ruling this afternoon, as well as Lawal's immediate reaction to hearing the news.
Strikeforce Scott Coker issued the following statement via MMAFighting.com:
"Following the outcome of today's hearing with the Nevada State Athletic Commission and his subsequent reaction, STRIKEFORCE has released Muhammad Lawal from his contract."
The "reaction" refers to Lawal branding NSAC Chairperson Pat Lundvall a "racist bitch" for her line of questioning during the hearing, who inquired whether or not the former Oklahoma State University wrestling standout could "read or speak English." It clearly rubbed Lawal, who was born and bred in the southern United States, the wrong way and "reminded him of negative past experiences."
Lawal has since removed the controversial rant on Twitter, which is the wrong place to vent frustrations and make outrageous statements. Just ask Miguel Torres, who was notoriously cut -- and then re-hired -- for his tasteless "rape van" joke.
On the flip side, the good news is that Torres, as well as Nate Marquardt, are living (and recent) examples that a Zuffa release is not the end of the line. He'll have more than enough time to get healthy, return to form and ply his trade elsewhere.
Let's also remember that Lawal is a fan-favorite in Japan. So, too, is Quinton Jackson, who recently requested -- and was granted -- his UFC release once he satisfies one more fight for the promotion.
Perhaps the pair, who can't stand each other, are now on a collision course to throwdown in the "Land of the Rising Sun" in early 2013. Sometimes these things happen for a reason.