It’s really 50-50 at this point how the main event of Saturday night’s Bellator 154 event goes between Phil Davis and Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal.

Sure, Bellator officials were smart to move the entire card to an early start time instead of going one-on-one with UFC 198’s pay-per-view card.

But that means Davis-Lawal will instead go head-to-head with Matt Brown vs. Demian Maia – which is also on “free” TV as part of the FOX Sports 1 prelims.

And with Brown and Maia, you are almost guaranteed to see something crazy happen.

Can we say the same about Davis-Lawal? That all depends.

The 31-year-old Davis created shock waves around MMA when he signed with Bellator instead of working out a new deal with the UFC following a 2015 loss to Ryan Bader.

Once on the cusp of title contention after starting his career 10-0, “Mr. Wonderful” has gone 6-3 with one no-contest over his last 10 fights. Still respectable, especially when you consider some of the wins were against Glover Teixeira, former UFC champion Lyoto Machida and Vinny Magalhaes.

Back in September, Davis made quick work of both ex-Bellator champ Emanuel Newton and Francis Carmont to claim the one-night light heavyweight tournament title. He submitted Newton – just like he did Alexander Gustafsson back in 2010 – and knocked out Carmont.

But that wasn’t the final everyone was looking forward to on Spike TV.

Davis was set to meet Lawal that night, but an injury caused the change in opponents and left a sour taste in the mouth of viewers – though not the fault of the former Penn State University wrestling standout.

In the case of Lawal (19-4) this is an opportunity to really earn his first quality win since a decision over Gegard Mousasi six years ago.

A former Strikeforce champion – he won the belt that April night vs. Mousasi – and ex-wrestling standout, Lawal dropped the title to Rafael Cavalcante later that year and was knocked out by a spinning back-fist from Newton three years later. His last two defeats have been decision setbacks at the hands of Newton and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in 2013 and ’14.

Since the loss to Jackson, Lawal has won each of his last seven fights, but they have been against the likes of Dustin Jacoby, Joe Vedepo, Cheick Kongo in which he moved up to heavyweight, Linton Vassell, Brett McDermott, Teodoras Aukstuolis and Jiri Prochazka. Not really the same quality of Davis.

Lawal has scored some highlight reel wins in his career, including four finishes in his last seven.

But if these two decide to embark on a wrestler vs. wrestler contest, holding back and not going for the finish, we might be disappointed.

Hopefully, both Davis and Lawal will try to capture the spotlight on a big night for MMA and “go-for-broke” in the headline fight.

About The Author

Dana Becker
Staff Writer

Dana Becker is an MMA reporter for The MMA Corner. Along with covering the sport, Dana is also a sports writer for a daily newspaper in Iowa, where he lives with his wife and two sons.