King Mo is one of the few athletes who has managed to compete successfully in two sports at the same time. He is both an accomplished mixed martial artist and a pro wrestler, even though he got his athletic career started in amateur wrestling.
Mo was a Division I All-American at Oklahoma State and that got him noticed by WWE. He talked about Gerald Brisco recruiting him when he joined Brisco and Big Ace on VOC Nation.
“[Brisco] recruited me. He called me and got me my flight to Louisville, Kentucky with a guy named Brandon Eggum. At that time Brandon Eggum was one of Brock Lesnar’s coaches and teammates,” Mo recalled and he spent about a week at OVW before rejecting WWE’s contract offer to pursue a career in MMA.
Mo grew up in the Dallas area and back when wrestling was more regional, NWA/WCW appealed to him more so than WWE. He recalled growing up a WCW fan as opposed to, at that time, WWF.
“When I came [to camp], Jim Cornette was asking us questions. I’m an NWA/WCW guy; you see WWE was cool, but I grew up watching NWA/WCW,” said Mo. “I grew up in a Muslim household. Once my daddy left, we were struggling. So, my momma went to the church, and the church took us in; they taught us about prayer and all this other stuff.”
As someone who grew up deeply religious, Mo revealed how his religion affected his thoughts while watching wrestling and even caused him to lose his belief in God.
“I remember when Sting was going to wrestle Ric Flair at Clash of Champions. I prayed on that ? that Sting would win. I prayed hard. Sting didn’t win; it was a Broadway, a draw. So, I was like maybe God didn’t want Sting to win, but he didn’t want him to lose either,” stated Mo.
“Then there was another feud, I think it was the Powers of Pain and the Legion of Doom. Warlord and Barbarian, that was my team; it got no better than that. Well, when that match happened, it was a squash match. I was praying, I was crying, and my mom [told me] ‘wrestling’s not real’. And I prayed to God about it; if wrestling isn’t real, I guess God doesn’t exist either. That was my rationale when I was young, and I still run with it.”
Mo then talked a bit about the differences between wrestling back then and today and he pointed to the lack of authenticity in today’s promos.
“I remember when I was young, Ric Flair was [expletive] believable. Now I’m watching his old promos and I’m like damn, this guy really believed what he was saying. This guy is really believable. You don’t see the same promos now that you used to see back then? Nick Aldis cuts a mean promo; I like his promos; he can cut a mean promo. MJF is good too,” said Mo.
As a mixed martial artist, Mo’s style is wrestling-based which comes from him competing in amateur wrestling. He’s also a striker as opposed to a submission artist as most of his MMA victories have come via knockout.
Mo talked about also taking up boxing and what he enjoys about MMA compared to pro wrestling.
“[I didn’t box] until I started in MMA. I sparred with pro boxers. I sparred with Luis Ortiz, Bryan James, Eddie Chambers. I sparred with plenty of pro boxers? I used to give these guys work on a weekly basis?,” said Mo. “When I was wrestling, I looked at wrestling as a legal fight ? I was like, that’s fun. But then MMA is the next step because now I can actually throw punches and not get penalized? I just like to punch. I’m going to beat you into submission, that’s what I like to do.”
Mo then talked about the changing nature of society now compared to when he was growing up. One aspect of society that’s changed is shorter attention spans and he referenced music as an example.
“Look at the music. When I was coming up, songs were about five minutes long, four minutes long; short was about three-and-a-half. Now, songs are about two minutes, no hooks, rushed, maybe one hook if you’re lucky? The whole album is 13 songs and 26 minutes long,” said Mo before he then talked about COVID-19.
“I thought it was a joke, just like SARS and MERS, Zika? I didn’t wear a mask? I wasn’t worried about this. But then, people started dying, and [I was still like] (expletive) a mask, those people are weak. Then my Mama hit me up, she’s a nurse. She was like ‘wear a mask because people are dying, and mainly a lot of black folks are dying.’ Something about the white blood cell count, and a lot of us aren’t in good places that have access to have top notch healthcare?
“[Then my sister ? a nurse in Orlando ? told me] ‘wear a mask because there are people getting pneumonia quick and fast and I’m incubating them.’ She told me that when they’re done, they have scarred lungs and have to be on oxygen for the rest of their life? [Scarred lungs] can cost you a fight? I wear my mask. I’ve been tested over 40 times.”