GroundandPound: How’s your training going? Where are you spending your training camp and is there anything specific you’ll be switching up this time?
Tom Lawlor: Training is going very well, the hardest part for me is spending time away from the dinner table. I have been training about 12-15 sessions a week at Tim Burrill BJJ, Lauzon MMA, Tri-Force MMA, and doing strength & conditioning at MBSC w/ Kyle Holland. There is nothing I will be doing to specifically prepare differently, just continuing to train hard and focus on the opponent at hand.
In Jason MacDonald you’ll be facing another dangerous grappler who has 17 of his 25 wins via submission. Will you brace yourself for a tough fight on the ground or are you looking forward to keep this a war on the feet?
I am looking to keep this fight on the feet. I have actually been working on that gameplan so much that I no longer lie down to sleep, but rather stand up at night while I am asleep.
MacDonald and you are both coming of losses against top guys in the weight class (Alan Belcher, Chris Weidman). With a victory, where do you think you stack up in the middleweight division?
I need this fight to stay in the UFC. Anything less than a stellar victory will be a huge disappointment. I haven't had a fight as bad as the one against Chris Weidman in my whole career and I don't intend to ever again. Basically I feel as if I am at ground level and need to put down some more concrete and get building again in the MW division.
You’ve already fought in Fairfax, Virginia during UFC’s first visit in January 2010 – losing a controversial split decision to Aaron Simpson on the main card. Do you consider competing in the Patriot Center as a slight advantage or do bad memories still exist?
Even though I "lost" the fight to Simpson, I only have good memories from Fairfax. I think that the fans there gave me the biggest ovation I have ever had to this date, and I have a feeling it will continue at this fight. DC is midway between the two places I call "home" (Orlando, FL and Providence, RI) so I will have lots of friends and family there to support me as well.
Which has been your favorite entrance? Are there any ideas you got in store for UFC on Fuel TV 3 already?
My favorite entrance of mine so far was one that was not in the UFC. Years ago I entered to a fight in a full "New Kids On The Block" outfit, to their song "Hangin' Tough". I even perfected the dance moves from the video! Of course there will be some sort of entrance for UFC on FUEL 3 but I have no clue yet what it will be. Truth be told, I am usually found at the nearest thrift store to the arena about an hour before I have to report, doing last minute shopping for the entrances.
What has been your best Octagon experience so far? Most of the fans would probably argue that choking out C.B. Dolloway at the milestone event UFC 100 has got to rank on top.
UFC 100 was awesome because it was well... UFC 100! It was also my biggest payday to date so it was definitely a milestone for me. Also, I look at my win over Patrick Cote at UFC 121 as vindication that I can compete with guys who have fought for the title and win those fights.
You mentioned that you were a huge fan of European MMA which still resembles a small niche sport in most of the countries. Are there any promotions you follow in particular? Who are your top prospects that might end up in the UFC some day?
I try to follow promotions from around the world. KSW and Fight Festival are probably my favorites from Europe to watch. They always have great talent and KSW's production quality is very high. I'm expecting guys like Mamed Khalidov, Anton Kuivanen, Daniel Weichel, Attila Vegh, amongst many others, to eventually be in the UFC and do quite well. Truth be told, even on the internet it is very hard to find event videos of German MMA promotions, I find it much easier to locate the shows from Poland and the Nordic countries.
Let’s say the UFC switches things up and shows a “Filthy Facts” graphic during each fighter stepping into the prep point. Name three notes that would be displayed under Tom Lawlor?
1. Has completed numerous eating challenges
2. Has not washed his jeans in 7 months
3. Once (or multiple times) has eaten pizza directly from a garbage bin
What are your predictions for these upcoming main events fights: Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans, Jim Miller vs. Nate Diaz and Junior Dos Santos vs. Alistair Overeem?
- Jones by submission
- Miller by decision
- THE REEM! by KO
Is there anything you like to plug or tell the German-speaking speaking fans? We read on your Twitter feed (@FilthyTomLawlor) that you are considering an overseas vacation in Europe after the May 15 fight.
YES! I have not decided yet if I will be going to Europe or another local, but if I do end up going to Europe and you would like to host me in your home and feed me, provide me with alcohol, show me around the cities, let me know on Twitter! Also, if you are opening a gym and want to provide me with a job and visa, I am more than open to the possibility!