Farewell “Filthy” Tom: Lawlor Signals Retirement Following PFL 5 Win

Tom Lawlor and Jordan Young, PFL 5
Tom Lawlor and Jordan Young, PFL 5 2021 Credit: PFL

“Filthy” Tom Lawlor appears to have hung up his gloves following Thursday night’s PFL 5 card. At the very least, he left them in the cage.

Lawlor, who improved to 11-8 (1NC) at PFL 5, went the distance with Jordan Young, earning a unanimous decision win — and three points towards the Professional Fighters League’s post-season. That won’t be enough to make it to the playoffs, given Lawlor came up short in his first fight of the 2021 season, but the win was still a big one.

In the build-up to Lawlor vs. Young, former Bellator prospect Young had claimed that Lawlor was “not on his level,” and suggested that “I don’t think Tommy’s a killer.” Lawlor, however, clearly proved otherwise on Thursday.

He also snapped a losing streak dating back to 2015, when he defeated Gian Villante at UFC on FOX 15.

Lawlor, 38, who has found a second career in pro wrestling, is well known to fight fans for his eccentric ways — frequently showing off at weigh-ins, and dressing up for walkouts. Lawlor embraced the entertainment side in mixed martial arts, at a time when the UFC was attempting to distance itself from exactly those antics.

After starting his pro fighting career in 2007, Lawlor quickly worked his way to the UFC via The Ultimate Fighter 8 in 2008. He’d win his first two fights inside the octagon, the second of which saw him pick up a victory against C.B. Dollaway at the historic UFC 100. In 2010, Lawlor picked up a notable win over Patrick Cote. A two-year suspension from USADA due to a positive test for Ostarine, a common contaminant in athletic supplements, derailed his career in 2016; Lawlor would not compete for the UFC again.

Instead, he returned in 2018, dropping a fight to Deron Winn at the infamous Golden Boy MMA card. Lawlor then signed on with the PFL. His debut was halted, however, along with the entire PFL season, in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this season, he finally made his debut, only to be submitted by Antonio Carlos Jr. Turning things around against Young, however, gave Lawlor the perfect opportunity to call it a career.


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