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King Mo's first Bellator fight will be on January 17th

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Esther Lin, Strikeforce

Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal hasn't stepped into the cage since January, and has dealt with a lot of stuff over the course of 2012. But there's light at the end of the tunnel, and it appears that Mo will finally re-emerge onto the MMA scene in Bellator's light heavyweight tournament in January. MMA Fighting has the news:

According to sources close to the event, "King Mo" will make his first Bellator appearance on Thursday, Jan. 17, at the UCI Bren Events Center in Irvine, Calif. Lawal will compete in the promotion's light heavyweight tournament.

No word just yet on who the former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion will meet in the first round of the tournament.

Lawal (8-1, 1 NC) tested positive for anabolic steroid Drostanolone after defeating Lorenz Larkin in early 2012, and was suspended for a year by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (it was eventually reduced to nine months). He was immediately released from Strikeforce, and was on the shelf for a while due to ACL surgery and a nasty staph infection. Eventually he signed with Bellator in May, while making a deal with TNA wrestling at the same time. He made his TNA debut in October, but Bellator held him out until their move to Spike, which was probably a good idea.

Bellator's light heavyweight division is pretty thin right now, and current champ Christian M'Pumbu will be defending his title against tournament winner Attila Vegh at Bellator 84 on December 14th. I wouldn't be surprised to see Mo run though the tourney and meet the winner of this bout in mid-2013.