ORLANDO, Fla. -- Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal is enjoying the perfect intersection of two careers.
Lawal, a former Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion, signed a contract earlier this year that will allow him to participate in mixed martial arts under the Bellator Fighting championships brand, and in professional wrestling under the Total Nonstop Action Impact brand.
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The dream scenario for Lawal follows a nightmarish chain of events. He failed a drug test for performance-enhancing drugs, and made inappropriate comments on Twitter about the subsequent hearing. As a result, Strikeforce -- which is owned by the Ultimate Fighting Championship's parent company, Zuffa LLC -- released Lawal from his contract.
"It's the best thing that happened to me in two ways," he said. "First of all, you say anything bad or you speak your mind over there, you get the beat-down. Everyone turns on you ... And two, they let me go. Hey, I'm in a better place. I'm in a way better place."
Lawal cannot make his in-ring debut for Bellator until January, when the drug suspension ends. But his "Impact" debut comes this week as a special enforcer selected by Hulk Hogan.
"I'm very anxious," Lawal said. "I'm very nervous about it and very excited. ... Now I have a chance to be a champion of some sort in TNA Impact wrestling."
Lawal, whose over-the-top personality inspired thoughts of pro wrestling earlier in his MMA career, said the transition to the scripted world of "Impact" is more difficult than it appears.
"Some people just think, 'You're going to be good at it because you have a personality.' Well, there are a lot of people with personality that can't pro-wrestle. You have to go there and learn the best you can and translate it live on TV like these guys do."
Lawal's two worlds intersected last month during Bellator's media day at Universal Studios. Several wrestlers stopped by to say hello and offer a quick word of encouragement.
"It's not easy," Lawal said. "I had a (World Wrestling Entertainment) tryout in 2004. Granted, I picked it up, but there (are) little tricks and a lot of technique involved ... You have to tell a story, and the story has to pull together with the climax and the finish. ... There's an art to this."