‘Filthy’ Tom Lawlor Discusses UFC, Independent Wrestling & Why ‘Fighting Sucks’

Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Tom Lawlor spoke to MMAFighting.com about being released from the UFC, his current status as an independent wrestler, and why he feels ‘fighting sucks.’ Below are some highlights.

Tom Lawlor On Being Released From The UFC:

Honestly I think the way the UFC handled it and then cut me right before I was able to come back really f*cked things up for my whole life. I had spoken to people there and asked for my release and had been told ‘no,’ multiple times. So I was assuming there was some sort of plan and when my suspension was up I’d be able to come back.

And let’s not get things twisted here, the independent wrestling doesn’t exactly pad my bank account a great deal. So I was kind of in a holding pattern, holding off on certain things, and they kind of screwed me in the end. I would have made different choices had I known the outcome during that two-year period. I thought I was doing the right thing in keeping my name out there and promoting myself. The UFC isn’t going to promote anybody. I could have sat there on my ass and done nothing for two years, but I chose to go out there and represent MMA in the independent wrestling world, and at the end of the day it hasn’t meant a whole lot.

Tom Lawlor On Independent Wrestling:

The matches are brutal, but it’s also the travel,. I just wrestled Callihan, and went through some tables. Not exactly the easiest match. A trash can unprotected to the head. I got caned. So it wasn’t the easiest match for my body, but what really ended up wrecking me was the 12-hour travel day back home — sitting in an airplane three hours slumped over, driving an hour back and forth from the venue. Really you’re being paid to travel.

Tom Lawlor On Other Styles He’d Like To Try:

Whoever is going to shell out the most money for me to complete a task, that’s pretty much what I’m looking for. It doesn’t necessarily have to be MMA. I like watching bare-knuckle boxing. I think it’s pretty cool. And Ganryujima. I would love to do f*cking moat fighting. One of the things that really captivated me was that sense of unknown when it came to MMA. What’s happened over the years is that the sport’s become so completely homogenized. A lot of the element of surprise has been taken out of it.

We know how you train for an MMA fight for the most part. You do your techniques, you get in shape, you do jiu-jitsu, you do wrestling, striking, and it really boils down to who is the better athlete. But, bare-knuckle boxing? How do you train for that? There’s a lot of unknowns. Moat fighting — where am I going to go train to do MMA and possibly push a guy off a surface?

Absolutely, all these different styles are things I’m interested in. I’ve done MMA — I haven’t done bare-knuckle fighting. I haven’t done a moat fight, or a stand-up rules where you can kick a guy in the nuts and win. In Korea they have open-weight fights. I want to fight a 350-pound fat guy. I want to wrestle a bear on an independent show, if they can get the bear. I’m serious. I’m down to do all these things. I’m a fighter, a combat sports athlete, not just an MMA fighter.

Tom Lawlor On Why He Feels ‘Fighting Sucks:’

I love MMA, but fighting sucks. Let’s think about this: I’m going to go out there and fight to the death against another man — another trained guy — and one of us has to win, the other has to lose. Sure there’s something awesome and primal about it, but this is a business. Being away for two years … I’m not doing this for anyone else. I’m not doing this for Golden Boy. I’m doing it to help myself and my family. Regardless, if I really want to or not, it’s what I have to do.

RELATED: No Rope, No Holds Barred Match Featuring Tom Lawlor Signed For MLW’s Miami Debut; Updated Card