Thomas Joseph "Tom" Lawlor (May 15, 1983) is an American professional mixed martial artist and professional wrestler currently competing in the Light Heavyweight division of the UFC. A professional since 2007, he was also a cast member of SpikeTV's The Ultimate Fighter: Team Nogueira vs. Team Mir.
Lawlor was born in Fall River, Massachusetts before moving to Swansea, Massachusetts, and then finally to Fort Myers, Florida. He attended Estero High School in Florida and was on the wrestling team, then continued his wrestling career at the University of Central Florida. Lawlor first began Brazilian jiu-jitsu in his home town of Fall River. Lawlor had a sister who died in a car accident in 2001, he dedicated his UFC on Fuel TV 9 win to his late sister.
Mixed martial arts
Lawlor previously lived in Providence, RI. He, along with TUF alumni and MMA veteran Seth Petruzelli and Brazilian jiu-jitsu Black Belt Mike Lee, was previously a part-owner and coach at The Jungle MMA – Orlando BJJ, MMA, Muay Thai The Jungle MMA and Fitness. He currently trains at Lauzon MMA and works with Team Aggression in Bridgewater, Massachusetts.
Lawlor has made himself known by imitating other fighters (Art Jimmerson, Dan Severn, Harold Howard, and Genki Sudo) during the weigh-ins and octagon entrances. These impersonations, along with his tongue-in-cheek ring entrance routines (paying homage to Hulk Hogan and Apollo Creed amongst others) have made Lawlor something of a cult figure among fans. In 2010, Lawlor announced his intention to tone down his pre-fight antics.
Before turning professional in 2007, Lawlor made his MMA debut as an amateur in 2003, facing Rich Mitchell at Xtreme Fighting 5 on July 26, 2003. He won via KO just under a minute into the fight, and would subsequently take time off from MMA.
The Ultimate Fighter
Lawlor appeared on the eighth season of The Ultimate Fighter. He submitted Ryan Lopez with a rear naked choke in the elimination round to earn his spot in the TUF house. He was chosen by Frank Mir to be a part of Team Mir.
He was selected to fight first against Ryan Bader and despite a good showing, Lawlor lost by knockout in the first round, due to a ground and pound punches.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Lawlor won his UFC debut against former The Ultimate Fighter 8 cast-mate Kyle Kingsbury via unanimous decision. They fought on the preliminary card at the The Ultimate Fighter 8 Finale. After the fight with Kingsbury, Lawlor moved down in weight after realizing he was too small for light heavyweight.
Lawlor had his second fight for the UFC, when he took on CB Dollaway at UFC 100. Tom won in an upset, putting Dollaway to sleep with a guillotine choke 55 seconds into the first round and was awarded Submission of the Night honors.
Lawlor fought Aaron Simpson on January 11, 2010, at UFC Fight Night 20. Lawlor showed off his improved striking skills in the first round by dominating Simpson, but lost a controversial split decision after gassing in the third round. However, the decision of the fight was met with widespread criticism toward the current scoring system in Mixed Martial Arts.
Lawlor was scheduled to face Tim Credeur on May 8, 2010, at UFC 113, but Credeur was forced off the card with an injury. Lawlor instead faced Joe Doerksen, losing via submission in the second round.
Lawlor earned a much needed victory over Patrick Cote on October 23, 2010, at UFC 121 in a performance that once again displayed Lawlor's superb wrestling and jiu jitsu skills by successfully executing five takedowns, threatening with submissions (nearly finishing Cote in the first round with an arm-triangle choke before Cote blatantly grabbed the fence to escape) in every round and showing his improved cardio as he easily cruised to a 30-27 unanimous decision victory.
Lawlor was expected to face Maiquel Falcão on August 27, 2011, at UFC 134 but Falcao was suddenly released from the promotion on May 11. Lawlor was expected to remain on the Brazilian card, but instead took a bout against Kyle Noke on August 14, 2011, at UFC on Versus 5. However, Lawlor pulled out of the fight in early July 2011.
Lawlor lost to Chris Weidman on November 19, 2011, at UFC 139 due to a D'Arce choke in 2:07 of the first round.
Lawlor faced Jason MacDonald on May 15, 2012, his birthday, at UFC on Fuel TV: Korean Zombie vs. Poirier. He won the fight via KO in the first round and earned Knockout of the Night for his efforts.
Lawlor fought Francis Carmont on November 17, 2012, at UFC 154. Despite controlling the majority of the fight and threatening with several submissions, he lost the fight via a controversial split decision.
Lawlor faced Michael Kuiper on April 6, 2013, at UFC on Fuel TV 9. After losing the first round, he rebounded and won via submission, a guillotine choke, early in the second round. During his post victory speech, Lawlor had dedicated his fight to his late sister; Katie.
Lawlor was expected to face Ilir Latifi in a light heavyweight bout on July 19, 2014, at UFC Fight Night 46. However, Lawlor was forced out of the bout due to injury, and was replaced by promotional newcomer Chris Dempsey.
After over two years away from active competition, Lawlor returned to face Gian Villante on July 25, 2015, at UFC on Fox 16. He won the fight via knockout in the second round and also earned a Performance of the Night bonus.
Lawler was expected to face Fábio Maldonado on November 7, 2015, at UFC Fight Night 77. However, Lawlor was forced out of the bout with injury and replaced by Corey Anderson.
Lawlor faced Corey Anderson on March 5, 2016, at UFC 196. He lost the fight by unanimous decision.
On November 4, 2016, Lawlor was provisionally suspended from the UFC stemming from an out-of-competition drug test conducted by USADA on October 10, 2016. Lawlor revealed that he failed for Ostarine, although he denied knowing the cause of the failure. In February 2017, Lawlor was handed a two-year suspension. He will be eligible to return to competition in October 2018.
Professional wrestling career
Independent circuit (2014-present)
Before the start of his MMA career, Lawlor worked two years as a professional wrestler on the Florida independent circuit, even taking part in a WWE tryout.
Lawlor debuted as early as January 27, 2008 for Division One Pro Wrestling where he entered and won the D1PW Cup Tournament, after eliminating Jason Sorrow in his debut match to advance through the first, second and final rounds of the tournament.
On May 17, 2014, Lawlor made his Ring of Honor debut accompanying reDRagon as their manager against The Young Bucks in their match for the ROH World Tag Team Championship at the ROH and New Japan Pro Wrestling co-promoted pay-per-view War of the Worlds.
Lawlor returned to professional wrestling in February 2017, following his suspension from UFC.
On 5 May 2017 Lawlor was advertised to appear at All Star Wrestling in Cloverdale, BC for their 7 July 2017 show. On May 26 and 27, Lawlor participated in the JT Lightening Invitational Tournament. Day 1, he was set to face Jimmy Rave but Rave dropped out of the show due to travel issues. Instead, UFC Legend and former NWA World Champion Dan Severn answered Lawlor's challenge. Lawlor pinned Severn to advance. Day 2, Lawlor was in a Fatal Four-Way with Tracy Williams, Mike Tolar and Dominic Garrini, Tracy Williams would win the match and go on to win the tournament. Lawlor thanked the crowd while those in attendance chanted "Please Come Back" as a sign of respect to Lawlor.
Lawlor returned on July 7 to appear for a match in ASW 10th Anniversary Show where he was defeated by Kenny Lush. Later in the month on July 21 at AIW Absolution XII in a match defeating Eddie Kingston. The next day, Lawlor appeared at PWK/RCW/SSW When Worlds Collide IV, defeating Chuck Taylor. Six days on July 28, Lawlor made his debut in Tier 1 Wrestling at Tier 1 2 Years Later, losing to Chris Dickinson. On July 30 at Beyond Americanrana 2017 - Matinee Show, Lawlor defeated Bobby Fish. Lawlor debuted on August 11 in Canada for the Combat Revolution Wrestling promotion where he received a title opportunity for the Great North Wrestling Canadian Championship held by Hannibal, but did not succeed in winning the title. While in Canada, Lawlor appeared at C4 Fighting Back 7: Wrestling With Cancer where he lost to Mike Bailey. On September 15, Lawlor wrestled at AIW Cold As Ice, defeating Dominic Garrini. On September 23, Lawlor debuted in Black Label Pro where he entered the BLP The Darkest Timeline Tournament, eliminating fellow mixed martial artists Matt Riddle to advance in the first round. He won a Six-Way Elimination match defeating Darby Allin, Dasher Hatfield, Dominic Garrini, Sammy Guevara and Simon Grimm to advance in the semifinals. His only match during the following month was on October 5 at MLW One Shot, defeating Jeff Cobb. Returning on November 10, Lawlor debuted in DEFY Wrestling at DEFY9, defeating Ethan Page. On November 11, Lawlor returned to Canada to wrestle in a title match for ASW November To Remember against Azeem The Dream in a Best Of Three Falls match for the ASW Trans Canada Heavyweight Championship but did not succeed in winning the title. On November 24, Lawlor wrestled at AIW Hell On Earth 13 in a match defeating Tracy Williams. The next day, Lawlor wrestled at Powerbomb.tv Wazzup in a match defeating Maxwell Jacob Friedman. On December 1, Lawlor returned to BLP at BLP First Of The Month to compete in the BLP Title Tournament Final where he defeated AJ Gray to win the tournament. Six days later, Lawlor returned to Major League Wrestling at MLW Never Say Never, Lawlor lost to Matt Riddle in a rematch. On December 29, Lawlor wrestled at AIW Rulers Of The World where he defeated Louis Lyndon. Lawlor finished the year with a match on December 31 at Beyond Heavy Lies The Crown, Lawlor teamed with Chuck O'Neil in a dark match defeating American Strong (Jay Freddie & Rory Gulak).
Lawlor returned on January 11, 2018 at MLW Zero Hour, he teamed with Seth Petruzelli in a tag match lost to Jeff Cobb & Matt Riddle. Three days later on January 14, Lawlor had his first BLP Championship at BLP We're Not The Mounties, successfully defeating his first challenger Jonathan Gresham. On February 8, Lawlor entered the MLW Road To The World Championship Tournament, eliminating MVP in the first round. Fifteen days later on February 23, Lawlor wrestled at AIW We've Got A DilEMMA, defeating Dominic Garrini. Two months later, Lawlor returned to the ring. He wrestled twice on April 21 at BLP Slamilton, defending his BLP Heavyweight Championship, first successfully defeating Nick Gage before later losing the title to Jordynne Grace. On May 3, Lawlor returned at MLW Intimidation Games, defeating Fred Yehi. On May 25, Lawlor entered the 2018 AIW The JT Lightning Invitational Tournament where advanced in the first round after eliminating Frankie Flynn. Later during the event, he lost to Tracy Williams in a Four-Way semifinal match. On June 7, Lawlor returned to Major League Wrestling for its MLW Fusion-Tapings, where he defeated Jake Hager (widely known in WWE as Jack Swagger). During the Tapings, Lawlor formed a team called Team Filthy with former WWE NXT superstar Simon Gotch. They were defeated in their debut match by ACH & Rich Swann.
Lawlor wrestled for University of Central Florida at 235 lb weight class. He won three national championships in the NCWA 2003, 2004, 2005 and as a freshman placed third. Lawlor currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is also married to an undisclosed "French-Polish" woman after she proposed to him at Monday Night Raw on February 13, 2017. Lawlor has a son named Finn and a daughter named Gabrielle. Lawlor's personal hero is fellow pro-wrestler Kane.
In May 2015, Figure Four Online launched the Filthy Tom Lawlor Show (later renamed Filthy Four Daily), a weekly podcast featuring Lawlor discussing MMA and professional wrestling with host Bryan Alvarez. In September 2016, it was announced he would be making monthly appearances on The Bryan and Vinny Show to discuss SmackDown Live pay per views. He has also made appearances on Wrestling Observer Radio.
He is the co-host of the FRB Show with Front Row Brian.
- Big Swing Guillotine (swinging guillotine choke)
- Bararm Sleeper
- Koji Clutch
- Sliding Lariat
- Signature moves
- Ura GTR
- Wrist Clutch Exploder
- German Suplex
- Superman Punch
- Forearm Smash
- European Uppercut
- Achilles Tendon Hold
- Abdominal Stretch
- Head in the Hole Cradle Pin
- Entrance Music
- The Filthy One
- Managers and valets
Championships and accomplishments
- National Collegiate Wrestling Association
- NCWA National 235lbs Champion (2003, 2004, 2005)
Mixed martial arts
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
- Fight of the Night (One time) vs. Aaron Simpson
- Knockout of the Night (One time) vs. Jason MacDonald
- Submission of the Night (One time) vs. CB Dollaway
- Performance of the Night (One time) vs. Gian Villante
- Black Label Pro
- Winner of the 2017 BLP Championship Tournament
- BLP Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Division One Pro Wrestling
- FX Cup (2008)