Season 8 of The Ultimate Fighter was one of the best in recent memory. One of the men who helped make it so unforgettable was Tom Lawlor.
Tom was the man who decided to spice up his fruit platter with an old Machida family recipe, knowing the opposing team had a penchant for eating it before he could. He was also the man who obliged Dave Kaplan when Kaplan wanted to prove that he absolutely, positively could not be knocked out. Dave was wrong.
“What you saw from me on TV, that’s pretty much me. I’m not gonna say I’m 'out there,' but I’m not one to hold back. I’ll admit if I’m wrong, but I’ll say things on a whim. I won’t hold things back just so people have a better opinion of me. I like to goof around, I like to play games, do funny stuff. People either love it or hate it. There’s no one that said, ‘Aw, man, that guy that peed in the fruit, he’s kinda cool, but I dunno, it was just alright.’ People either tell me that it was the coolest thing ever and it was hilarious or they say, well, usually they say someone else said, ‘Oh, dude, that was so messed up, what’s wrong with him. That guy, he’s a scumbag and a loser.’ It’s probably somewhere around 50/50. Now with Dave Kaplan, I think I’m 75 percent loved there.”
Since being on The Ultimate Fighter, Tom has dropped down to middleweight. He won his debut in the lighter weightclass against C.B. Dollaway at UFC 100.
“The weight cut then (at UFC 100) was no problem. I actually weighed in at 184. This time, I have been doing a lot of strength and conditioning work at a place called DTS Performance here in Orlando. I’ve put on quality weight. My lifts have all gone up, my speed and agility is better and because of that I’ve put on a little bit of weight and I assume it’s mostly muscle. The weight cut is going to be a little harder. I did not do a test cut because my weight has been so high that I didn’t want to cut down and hurt myself in the process. So, you know, we’ll see if I end up making weight.”
Lawlor defeated Dollaway at UFC 100 in only 55 seconds, rendering him completely unconscious in the process.
“I made sure to go ahead and buy C.B. a couple of drinks when I hung out with him a couple months ago in Vegas. He told Seth [Petruzelli] that I owed him a couple of drinks, so I bought ‘em.”
Tom, Seth Petruzelli and Mike Lee own and operate The Jungle MMA and Fitness. Petruzelli is rumored to be taking on Ken Shamrock in Mexico in March of this year.
“I heard it straight from the horse’s mouth that Seth and Shamrock are signed and good to go. Unless, you know, Shamrock is warming up with some bodybuilders in the back. Maybe this is Seth thanking Shamrock. They might have had something worked out that I don’t know about. On second thought, maybe you shouldn’t print that after the whole Elite XC debacle. To clarify, if they have anything worked out, I don’t know about it.”
His other partner, Mike Lee, has his own fight coming up.
“Mike Lee is fighting this Friday up in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. We’ve got some top fighters. We’ve got Dave Baggett who unfortunately lost in the prelim fights of The Ultimate Fighter 7 to C.B. Dollaway. We’ve got Clayton McKinney, who people are going to hear about in the near future.”
On January 11, Tom faces off against undefeated Aaron Simpson on the main card at Ultimate Fight Night 20. Simpson is a two-time All-American wrestling alum of Arizona State.
When asked what he was doing to prepare for Simpson, Tom said, “Nothing special.”
As for the future, Lawlor has a surprising goal in mind.
“I promise, I swear to God, 100 percent, I want my next fight to be at heavyweight. I’m not kidding. After I beat C.B., I said I wanted to go up to heavyweight and everybody thought I was kidding and making a joke and I’m not. My dream is to fight at heavyweight here in the UFC. If it means I have to take a year off, I will do it. I have $100,000 in the bank and I will go ahead and commit $50,000 of it to food. I want to fight at heavyweight. That is not a joke. If I have to start an online petition to get it done, I will.”
When asked if he had anyone special in mind in the UFC Heavyweight Division, he said:
“I want to fight the worst guy they have. [Laughs] No, I can’t think of anybody right off the bat that I want to fight, but maybe the worst guy from the last season of The Ultimate Fighter.”
Be sure to watch Tom Lawlor and Aaron Simpson at Ultimate Fight Night: Maynard vs. Diaz on Spike TV, January 11th.