“Filthy” Tom Lawlor, whose two-year suspension from UFC competition was scheduled to end in two months, was released today by the company, Lawlor said.
The news shocked a lot of people because he had asked for a release several times during his period of suspension by USADA for a failed drug test for Ostarine, a banned substance and member of the SARM group. The UFC did not release him so he switched over to pro wrestling, with the idea of returning to MMA at the conclusion of the suspension.
The concentration of the Ostarine was low, but Lawlor, who avoided supplements for fear of contamination, couldn’t find an explanation as to what caused him to test positive. He even had his coffee tested, but there was no trace of anything contaminated.
Lawlor, 35, a small light heavyweight, had been with UFC for nearly 10 years, after being on season eight of The Ultimate Fighter reality show. He has a 10-6 pro MMA record with one no contest and a 6-5 UFC record. His last fight was on March 6, 2016, a close decision loss to UFC No. 6 ranked contender Corey Anderson.
“All things come to an end and it was inevitable that so would my time in UFC,” said Lawlor. “Today I was informed that I will be released by the UFC despite my USADA suspension being nearly over and my previous requests for a release being denied. While the timing is unexpected, hopefully this opens the doors for me to continue with my mixed martial arts career as well as in the squared circle (pro wrestling). Combat sports is one of my life’s great loves and I look forward to showing and sharing that with the fans as soon as possible.”
A UFC official told MMA Fighting that Lawlor has not officially been let go as of yet, but the process is under way. The reasoning and timing remain unclear.
Lawlor garnered popularity for his UFC weigh-in costumes, where he would come out and mimic different characters, including Hulk Hogan, Apollo Creed, Dan Severn, Genki Sudo and The Shockmaster. He has been doing independent pro wrestling since his suspension, which was scheduled to end on Oct. 10.
He had done pro wrestling prior to UFC, and even once had a WWE tryout, before being chosen for the cast of the eighth season of The Ultimate Fighter. Before that, he had won three NCWA small college national championships in wrestling while attending the University of Central Florida.
Of late, he had been pushed as one of the leading stars for Major League Wrestling, a promotion that has weekly television on beIN Sports. But he had noted that he was looking at returning to the UFC when his suspension was lifted.
Additional reporting by Marc Raimondi.