According to BloodyElbow.com, Muhammed Lawal has been released from his Strikeforce contract because of some comments he made on Twitter following Tuesday’s hearing with the Nevada State Athletic Commission, where he was suspended nine months for his failed drug test in January.
In particular, the former Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion tweeted that he “honestly” felt that commission chairperson Pat Lundvall was “a racist b—-” after she asked him if he “can read or speak english” (sic).
In a tweet he later deleted, Lawal added: “Go on somewhere with that bulls— b—-!!! That one commissioner was bogus. The rest were coo and they were white and latino” (sic).
Apparently Zuffa, which owns both the UFC and Strikeforce, didn’t take kindly to the language and/or racist accusations, and UFC/Strikeforce matchmaker Sean Shelby contacted Lawal’s manager Mike Kogan to inform him that the fighter had been cut.
Lundvall made the query in regards to the admission that Lawal, whose Jan. 7 win over Lorenz Larkin was also changed to a no-contest after he tested positive for the steroid drostanolone, failed to disclose the use of a certain supplement — the one he claims was the source for the banned substance — on a pre-fight medical questionnaire. Lawal, who went 3-1 (1 NC) in Strikeforce, told BloodyElbow that it wasn’t just the fact that she was asking a black man if he could read English, but also her tone that bothered him.
“I have never been asked in such a condescending way if I could read or speak English like that,” he told the website.
“Of course, I want to fight for Strikeforce and fight for Zuffa, but if they want to cut me for what I said, then I can’t take it back because it already happened,” he added. “Right now, I just want people to understand that I went in there respectfully and that I’m not playing the race card. I’m too old to play the race card. I’m established on the West Coast now and since I’ve been out here, I haven’t experienced much racism. I’ve experienced some stereotypes and small prejudices here and there, but other than that, no, I haven’t experienced too much, compared to when I was in the South. The woman’s comments reminded me of times when I experienced racial insensitivity from other people.
“Zuffa made a decision just off what was said on Twitter. I don’t know if they care about what happened. I’m pretty sure they didn’t hear any of the audio. They just made a decision off what went down on Twitter. I’m pretty sure Keith Kizer and certain people at the commission are mad and I didn’t mean any disrespect to Keith or the rest of the people in the commission. I just felt disrespected by that one person that asked if I could speak or read English.
“To me, that was a blatant insult. Just listen to the audio. You’ll see.”
The audio is below (thanks to MMAweekly.com). The “confrontational” interaction in question is at about the seven-minute mark.
Later, Lawal got into it with other fans on Twitter.
@BakedbeanUKMMA was u there?! That one commissioner was bogus. The rest were coo and they were white and latino.