Ryan Schultz. Photo courtesy of the International Fight League.
Freestyle wrestler Muhammed “Mo” Lawal has been tapped to replace an injured Roger Gracie against experienced veteran Travis Wiuff at World Victory Road’s “Sengoku V” event tomorrow morning in Japan, finalizing the eight-bout fight card.
Lawal, who is currently training with Team Quest, was a winner at the 2002 NCAA Division II National Championship and finished second at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, just narrowly missing out on a trip to the Olympics this year in Beijing.
He will oppose Wiuff, who knocked off former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez and two other fights to win YAMMA Pit Fighting’s first-ever heavyweight tournament in the promotion’s only event-to-date in April. Following that, he scored a first-round knockout of Kazuyuki Fujita at Sengoku III in June.
Sengoku V will also feature the first-round of World Victory Road’s inaugural middleweight grand prix. First round matchups include former PRIDE light heavyweight standout Kazuhiro Nakamura taking on Paul Cahoon while Strikeforce tournament winner Jorge Santiago will face World Extreme Cagefighting veteran Logan Clark.
The two bouts join Kondo vs. Yuki Sasaki and Siyar Bahadurzada vs. Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos as the matchups taking place in the tournament’s first round. Former UFC welterweight title challenger Frank Trigg, who defeated Makoto Takimoto at Sengoku IV on August 24, is being discussed a possible late entrant to the bracket by WVR officials.
Alexandre “Xande” Ribeiro will go up against professional wrestler Takashi Sugiura and lightweights Kiuma Kunioku and A Sol Kwon are set to collide in non-tournament fights. Former IFL lightweight champion Ryan Schultz wil take on American Top Team product Jorge Masvidal in the show’s main event.