Good Evening
Good Evening
SportsMixed Martial Arts

Strikeforce needs a King Mo victory

King Mo Lawal appreciates his introduction before fighting

King Mo Lawal appreciates his introduction before fighting Gegard Mousasi for the light heavyweight title at Strikeforce Nashville. (April 17, 2010) Credit: Strikeforce / Esther Lin

Prized recruit Dan Henderson lost his debut to Jake Shields, who then left Strikeforce.

Fedor Emelianenko, the biggest chip in the bag, lost for the first time in 10 years.

So, yeah, Strikeforce needs a promotional boost. A successful title defense by light heavyweight champion King Mo Lawal on Saturday at Strikeforce Houston would be such a boost.

Strikeforce needs to establish new stars to promote and market to fans, and an easy way to do that is have a defending champion. Lawal beat Gegard Mousasi in April to win the belt, and the last thing Strikeforce needs is to see him lose it in his first defense to Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante. It was Mousasi's first title defense.

Parity has been the keyword across the board in professional sports during the past decade, which is fine. But fans also need stability, a clear distinction between champion and challenger.

Example: In the UFC, everyone knows Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre are clearly above everyone else in their weight classes, but many still consider BJ Penn the best lightweight over champion Frankie Edgar.

Lawal is a charismatic personality and a good fighter, the right combination for marketability to fight fans.

Strikeforce needs Lawal to take that next step toward becoming a fighter everyone knows and looks toward as the man to beat, not just the guy who happens to wear the championship belt for now.

New York Sports