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UFC 154: Five Fights for Tom Lawlor to Take Next

Matt MolgaardCorrespondent IIINovember 18, 2012

UFC 154: Five Fights for Tom Lawlor to Take Next

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    Saturday’s featured middleweight bout between Tom Lawlor and Francis Carmont was supposed to serve as a thrilling affair that would likely push Carmont into the upper echelon of the promotion’s division. It ended up being a snoozefest that consisted of a whole lot of wall and stall.

    Don’t get me wrong, I was strangely entertained by the fight, and that was probably a result of the intrigue surrounding this specific collision. Could Carmont put away a rugged, dangerous guy like Lawlor? Would Lawlor finally snag a major victory for the promotion?

    The answer in both cases was no.

    Carmont turned in a somewhat timid performance, and while he was able to exit the cage victorious, the fight probably didn’t do too much to gain him many new fans. Lawlor, meanwhile, came up just short of derailing the highly touted prospect.

    Carmont’s takedown defense and reach kept him out of serious danger, and Lawlor’s ability to close the distance without sustaining too much damage kept him alive in the fight.

    What ensued was a spicy wrestling match that took place, for the most part, from the upright position.

    It wasn’t particularly exciting, and it failed to produce the answers so many sought heading into the fight.

    We’re still completely unsure of how Francis will perform against a top-tier middleweight, and we’re still uncertain of just how far Lawlor can go in the division. In the grand scheme of things, one could actually label last night’s meeting as irrelevant.

    We learned absolutely nothing from watching these two men fight. Carmont is still unbeaten inside the Octagon, but Lawlor certainly isn’t, and if he wants to remain employed by the largest MMA promotion in the world, he’s going to need to pick up a few big wins.

Luiz Cane

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    "Banha" hasn’t exactly been on a roll lately, but neither has the inconsistent “Filthy” Tom Lawlor. Both men need a big win, and both need it badly.

    Cane presents an interesting challenge for Lawlor, who typically does pretty well against strikers, just not ones who are 6’3” or taller. The range of Carmont was a bit too much for him to easily overcome, but Cane could be a completely different story.

    Let there be no confusion, I fully recognize the fact that Luiz is a tall guy himself, and that’s exactly why this is a fight he needs to take. If Lawlor can find more success in closing the distance while landing big punches on Cane, he’ll learn a lot about dealing with rangier opponents who favor striking over grappling.

Chris Leben

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    I’m not really sure why this fight hasn’t already been made.

    Chris Leben always shows up to bang, and Lawlor’s no coward in the pocket. This is a hypothetical battle that would more than likely produce a highlight-reel knockout, and the more I think about it, the more I want to see it.

    Will it be the looping power punches of Leben, or the crisp, straight shots of Lawlor that lead to victory?

Mark Munoz

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    Each man’s wrestling would likely negate the other's should Tom Lawlor ever meet Mark Munoz inside the cage. And that’s a good thing: When two grapplers tangle, we often see wildly exciting kickboxing matches unfold.

    I have little doubt that we’d witness some heavy leather chucked around if we’re ever gifted a Lawlor vs. Munoz matchup. Both have done some flirting with the division’s greatest challenges, and both have hit a fair share of roadblocks along the way.

    Let’s see who the more promising fighter truly is.

    Joe Silva, make it happen!

Ed Herman

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    Looking beyond a losing affair with Jake Shields, which was later overturned thanks to a failed drug test on Jake’s part, Ed Herman’s been on a bit of a tear lately. The man hasn’t lost a fight since 2009, and he’s looked fairly impressive recently.

    Three consecutive stoppages (over Clifford Starks, Kyle Noke and Tim Credeur) have served as effective reminder to the MMA pundits out there that “Short Fuse” is still a very dangerous fighter. That said, Jake Shields reminded us that the man isn’t always pragmatic in his approach to fighting wrestlers and submission fighters.

    Lawlor could conceivably pick up a key career victory if he ever meets Herman, but he’ll need to be flawless in order to successfully execute his own attack while avoiding Ed’s often underappreciated submission prowess.   

Rich Franklin

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    I had to throw this pick in just for fun.

    How much does Rich Franklin have left in the tank? At 38 years old, are his better days too far distanced to impress against mid-tier fighters? Tom Lawlor could be the man to answer that.

    On one hand, if Franklin picks up a victory it proves he’s still capable of competing with young, hungry animals. That said, flip that hand over and you could be looking at the breakthrough fight of Lawlor’s career, and a seemingly inappropriate swan song for “Ace”, the former middleweight champion.

    Regardless of outcome, I’d happily watch this encounter. Rich isn’t likely to give up too much ground in the grappling department, which would force a slugfest of memorable proportions.  

     

    Follow Matt Molgaard on Twitter.

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