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'Filthy' Tom Lawlor retires from MMA following PFL victory

Image: PFL

The 14-year MMA career of "Filthy" Tom Lawlor has come to an end.

The emotional 38-year-old put his gloves in the cage following his unanimous decision win over Jordan Young at PFL 5 Thursday despite still being in the fourth and final playoff spot with the victory.

Lawlor, co-host of Filthy Four Daily with Bryan Alvarez on this website, leaves the sport with an 11-8-0-1 mark with no MMA titles to his name. 

Known for wearing various outfits to weigh-ins and to the cage during the time when UFC allowed such things, Lawlor was the victim of a two-year suspension from USADA in late-2016 for failing for Ostarine. He denied ever knowingly taking the drug, but any appeals and release requests so he could fight elsewhere were denied.

The UFC then released him less than two months before his suspension was up. Following a 2019 Ostarine violation by another fighter that resulted in a much shorter suspension, USADA admitted that if the case came up later, Lawlor's punishment wouldn't have been as long.

After becoming a three-time National Collegiate Wrestling Association champion at the University of Central Florida, Lawlor's fighting career started in March 2007 and after six fights, he got an opportunity to be on the eighth season of The Ultimate Fighter (Frank Mir vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira). As part of Team Mir at light heavyweight, he lost in his first fight to Ryan Bader via first round knockout.

During his 6-5 run at middleweight, he picked up wins over Patrick Cote, CB Dollaway and Gian Villante while losing to eventual middleweight champion Chris Weidman and Corey Anderson.

After losing to Deron Winn on the undercard of the Oscar De La Hoya-promoted Tito Ortiz vs. Chuck Liddell III show, he signed with PFL. He had lost his debut against Antonio Carlos Junior (aka "Shoeface") before Thursday's win.

Lawlor resumed his pro wrestling career in 2014 and has already made a name for himself with his run in MLW (World Champion, Opera Cup winner, Battle Riot winner) and New Japan Pro Wrestling where he is the first-ever Strong Openweight Champion. He also frequently works for various indie promotions.

.@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
ESPN+ pic.twitter.com/hY0Gw3ETPU

— PFL (@PFLMMA) June 17, 2021