As much as Luke Thomas hates it, pro wrestling and MMA are most certainly intertwined. Many of the best fighters in the game have said that pro wrestling has greatly influenced their style. Tito Ortiz has said that he channeled Stone Cold Steve Austin. Chael Sonnen admitted to a connection between what he does and pro wrestling. Rampage recently talked at length about his love for it and appeared on an episode of Raw. Now we can add yet another fighter to say he's been influenced by it, King Mo Lawal. In talking to Heavy.com he revealed as much:
Lawal started as an amateur wrestler largely because of his childhood love of pro wrestling. He nearly made the move to pro wrestling himself but put it off. He says it’s not a question of maybe but rather when that childhood goal will be achieved. Then he says he’ll go on to be a pro-wrestling star. But it won’t be soon, as his current goal is to not just be an MMA champion, something he achieved just 19 months into his career, but also be considered an all-time great in the sport.
Here's another interesting tidbit:
But he says everything started with watching pro wrestling on television, in particular the 1980s versions of the National Wrestling Alliance and Mid-South Wrestling. Lawal can talk in detail about wrestlers and stories from back in the mid-’80s, when he was just 4 years old. He learned valuable lessons from being a pro-wrestling fan, soaking up strategy and technique by studying VHS videotapes from all over the world.
The other lesson learned was how to promote fights.
That's the big one, ladies and gentlemen. Promoting fights. The fight itself is what truly matters but if no one is there to see it then did it really happen? Some MMA fans might not like it, others, like us here at Cageside Seats, embrace it, but that is just the way it is. You have to make us care. Pro wrestling more often then not finds a way to do that. Just telling me that their is going to be a fight between two guys is not good enough. I need a good reason to want to watch them fight. I watched Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen in part because I knew that it would be a great fight but also because I really wanted to watch Sonnen lose. I got tired of hearing him run his mouth. That was the whole point. Their is a lesson to be learned and King Mo has got it.
Like I said, go check out the article. It's a great read.