Shortly after we interviewed King Mo a couple of weeks ago, I found out that the dude actually went to my high school. That’s right, King Mo was a Plano East Panther and I had no idea. Apparently he didn’t go by King Mo back in the day (it was before he had a kingdom filled with hot asian chicks that dance in tight spandex). Not even Don Frye’s mustache could withstand the amount of beef that exuded from King Mo during their Inside MMA appearance last Friday. Frye dropped out and has been replaced with Mark Kerr. If this fight were a box of frosted flakes, it has now been enriched with Fedor. Check out the official press release:
Amsterdam, Holland — M-1 Global (www.M-1Global.com) officially announced Monday morning that its August 28 “Breakthrough” event scheduled to be televised live in the U.S. has been moved from the Los Angeles Convention Center to the historic Memorial Hall in Kansas City.
“The change in venues is unfortunate, however, the change was necessitated due to circumstances beyond our control,” said M-1 Global Chief Operating Officer Joost Raimond. “We had a partner in Los Angeles that backed out of certain commitments. However, instead of letting fighters and fans down by canceling the event, we worked diligently to find a new location in Kansas City. At no point in time did we entertain the idea of canceling our first ‘Breakthrough’ event.”
With the change in venue comes a change in the original main event, which had been set to feature “King” Mo Lawal and UFC veteran Don Frye. Frye has formally pulled out of the fight and has been replaced by another former NCAA Champion and All-American, Mark Kerr.
“Don Frye had a signed contract with M-1 and part of that signed commitment allowed us to change the venue if needed,” said Raimond. “From our perspective, Don should still be in this fight. However, for reasons that we aren’t exactly sure of, he has backed out. Don still has not provided us with a clear reason as to why he is refusing to fight.
“We’ve heard rumors that he wasn’t happy with the location change but our television partner, Mo Lawal, and every other fighter scheduled for the event are satisfied with Kansas City so why isn’t it good enough for Don? Don also fought just a few short months ago in Lubbock, Texas. It just doesn’t make sense because the old Don Frye was willing to fight anyone, anywhere, and at anytime. Perhaps the fire is gone and he underestimated the challenge that ‘King Mo’ presents?”
Lawal was also perplexed by Frye’s decision and even said during a recent YouTube interview that he’d fight himself if he had to at “M-1 Breakthrough.” Fortunately, Lawal will not have to do that, as Frye’s departure has created an opportunity for Kerr, a former star in both the UFC and PRIDE, to launch a comeback on a major platform.
“Kerr at one time was one of the best fighters on the planet,” M-1 Global Vice President of Live Events Joe Kelly said. “His fall from grace was documented publicly on the popular HBO documentary The Smashing Machine. A lot of people have written Mark Kerr off but if he’s able to beat Lawal on national television, suddenly he becomes a hot commodity again. Mark was already in training for a fight when we contacted him and I’m not exactly sure how hard Don was training. This will actually be a tougher fight for Lawal.”
In addition to Lawal vs. Kerr, “Breakthrough” will now also feature a sparring exhibition between Strikeforce fighters Fedor Emelianenko and Gegard Mousasi.
“We were blown away by just how popular Fedor’s exhibition vs. Aoki in Japan was,” said Raimond. “Fedor and Gegard have sparred many times together and the sessions have always been intense. Now fight fans watching on HDNet and those attending live in Kansas City will get a rare glimpse at two of the best fighters in the world sparring each other.”