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Tom Lawlor Misses“Freak Show” Fights & MMA Entertainers

When news came Sunday afternoon that UFC light heavyweight Alexander Gustafsson may have to withdraw from his fight against Gegard Mousasi in UFC on FUEL TV 9’s main event on April 6, Lawlor tweeted that he was more than willing to step up to save the fight card, but said the UFC brass never called him up to pursue him, most likely because Lawlor is already slated to clash with Michael Kuiper on the card. Regardless, Lawlor has a true gladiator mentality and had every intention of bringing a battle to Mousasi if the call to step up had come.

“To be honest I kind of miss the days of freak show fights. I’m not saying that me versus Mousasi would be a freak show fight, but it would be a step in that direction. I think sometimes that the entertainment aspect of gets lost a little bit in this sport. Take a look at the fight a couple of weeks ago between Rumble Johnson and Arlovski. That fight got probably more press than it would have if each guy was fighting individually in their own weight classes just based on the fact of the unknown factor of this guy’s moving up in weight and fighting a guy that’s normally a heavyweight. I think stuff like that is really cool. I’ve been watching MMA so long that I kind of miss that,” Lawlor said.

“Obviously now the sport’s a lot better off now than it was then. But every once in a while a good freak show fight is pretty entertaining.”

“I guess it would be better if I was like GSP and just dominated everybody, or like Anderson Silva. But realistically that’s not what’s happening in my fights, so I have to find my own niche along the way,” Lawlor said of coming up with his unique weigh-in and walkout personas.

On how he plans to handle Michael Kuiper and why Lawlor doesn’t think the European native will have a homefield advantage :

“I don’t expect to take him down and hold him down for an entire round. He’s very good at getting back up once he gets taken down. So I think it’s going to be somewhere in like a transitional period where the fight’s going to be won or lost. I don’t think his striking is better than mine and I’m not so sure that my wrestling style is the kind where I can hold the guy down for a long time. So, I don’t think it’s a classic striker versus wrestler matchup or anything like that.”

“I don’t think he’s going to be the hometown fighter to be honest. In my last fight against Francis Carmont, who lives in Montreal, if you listen to the audio from that broadcast the crowd was pretty vocal once the decision was read. Everywhere I go I seem to have a pretty decent fan base just based on my personality and lack thereof that other guys have on fight week.”