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‘King Mo’ Lawal returns for ‘final’ MMA fight at Bellator 233

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Former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Muhammad Lawal will enter a cage one last time on Nov. 8, taking on Andrew Kepel in a 195-pound catchweight fight at Bellator 233 in Thackerville, Okla.

Bellator officials confirmed the match-up to MMA Fighting following a report by ESPN. Lawal also confirmed to MMA Fighting that this is going to be his final MMA bout.

“I just want to end my final fight with a win, unlike wrestling,” Lawal told MMA Fighting’s Steven Marrocco. “My final wrestling match was a loss, and I want to finish with Scott Coker in Bellator. Call it a wrap.”

“King Mo” (21-9, 1 no-contest) announced his retirement earlier this year after suffering his third straight knockout defeat in a 12 month stretch, losing a rematch to Rizin light heavyweight champion Jiri Prochazka in Japan.

Lawal hasn’t won a fight since March 2017, when he avenged a loss to Quinton Jackson with a decision victory at Bellator 175. The American Top Team product has defeated names like Prochazka, Cheick Kongo, Roger Gracie and Gegard Mousasi during his 11-year career.

Kapel (14-6) enters the Bellator circular cage for the first time after winning four in a row on the regional circuit since 2017, with three of those wins coming with rear-naked chokes.

Bellator 233 airs live on Paramount and features middleweights John Salter and Costello van Steenis in the main event.

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