Tom Lawlor signals retirement, leaves gloves in center of cage after 2021 PFL 5 win
One of the most unique personalities in the sport, Tom Lawlor, has apparently decided to call it a career.
Lawlor (11-8) left his gloves in the center of the cage at 2021 PFL 5 on Thursday, signaling retirement after a unanimous decision victory over Jordan Young. The win halted a three-fight losing skid and marked his first victory since 2015, when he defeated Gian Villante by second-round knockout at UFC on FOX 16.
When Lawlor, 38, removed his gloves, his playoff hopes in the 2021 PFL season were still alive, depending on results throughout the remaining of the evening. His decision win earned three points in the PFL standings, which was good for the fourth and final playoff spot at the time. However, his playoff life was short-lived, as he was eliminated later in the evening.
.@FilthyTomLawlor removes his gloves and places them at the center of the cage — despite currently sitting in fourth place in the 2021 PFL Light Heavyweight standings, which would qualify him for the Playoffs. Keep an eye on this situation as it develops. #2021PFL5
— PFL (@PFLMMA) June 17, 2021
After the Villante win, Lawlor was on a two-fight winning streak, which set up a meeting against Corey Anderson. He would lose a unanimous decision in that fight, which set off a series of events that altered his career path.
In 2017, Lawlor lost a chunk of time in his fighting career due to a two-year suspension by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). He insisted a contaminated supplement caused the failed test for ostarine, but he also received a lengthier suspension compared to other fighters who tested positive for the same substance.
It was an unfortunate scenario that USADA later said due to evolution in science, Lawlor could have received a shorter suspension had the test occurred at a later date. Ultimately, the situation led to Lawlor’s release from UFC just two months prior to his suspension ending.
Lawlor continued with his professional wrestling career before returning to the cage to face Deron Winn under the Golden Boy MMA banner in 2018. He then signed with PFL to compete in the 2020 season, although, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the promotion was idle until 2021.
After losing to Antonio Carlos Junior at 2021 PFL 2, Lawlor returned at 2021 PFL 5 where he would beat Young, and seemingly decide to call it a career.
Lawlor was introduced to larger audiences in 2008 on Season 8 of “The Ultimate Fighter”, where he was involved in one of the most memorable moments in the history of the show when he knocked out Dave Kaplan inside the fighter house after he begged to be hit.
Down but never out
— UFC (@ufc) June 15, 2021
His silly antics at weigh-ins and during entrances were also memorable, as he was known to wear masks and other headgear, which appealed to fans.
If Thursday’s victory is indeed his final bout, “Filthy” retires after returning to the win column, wrapping up his MMA career on a high note.