Week 3 of “The Ultimate Fighter: Team Nogueira vs. Team Mir” brought us the team selections and the first elimination fight in the light-heavyweight division.
Ryan Bader faced off with Tom Lawlor, and while the Team Mir fighter proved to be a very game opponent early on, it was Bader who finally took this fight to the canvas and ended the fight with a knockout.
Fiveouncesofpain.com had a chance to speak with Tom Lawlor to get his thoughts on the fight, his future, and the relationship of this season’s coaches with their teams.
Fiveouncesofpain.com: When you were selected to fight Ryan Bader, you had expressed your feelings that they (Team Nogueira) were underestimating you. During the show they viewed you as a threat had you been allowed to fight later in the process, did still feel as if you where underestimated?
Tom Lawlor: No. I had already fought his second pick ( Shane Primm), and they knew their second though fouth picks could lose. I kinda thought I would get Ryan Bader. It appears they put all their stock on pushing him through, at one point I believe they even called him their “Golden Boy”.
Fiveouncesofpain.com: Was Ryan Bader stronger than you thought he would be?
Tom Lawlor: No not stronger, he was the best wrestler I have faced in a while, and his control on top was very good.
Fiveouncesofpain.com: How were you selected for the show? Did you go to the open try outs, or were you refered?
Tom Lawlor: My manager contacted the casting people for the show, the casting people contacted me and told me to send in a video and I was chosen.
Fiveouncesofpain.com: During this episode, it is becoming clear that the two coaches are going to have a very different relationship with their respective teams. How did you view Frank Mir as a coach.
Tom Lawlor: Frank was a great coach. I think the thing that most people don’t think about is that our coaching staff lives in Las Vegas. Frank Mir, Ken Hahn, and Robert Drysdale all live in Vegas and have families and lives here, they were able to coach and live their lives at the same time.
Nogueira and his coaches came to Vegas for the show.. This wasn’t their hometown, and the circumstances were just different. So I understand why Nogueira and his coaches were able to come to the house for dinner. They did not have family around.
Fiveouncesofpain.com: Can you explain what it was like living in the house with Junie Allen Browning? Were things as volitile and crazy as it appears?
Tom Lawlor: It was weird at times, really out of control. Somedays he would be my best friend, and other nights I didn’t want to sleep for fear he would slit my throat….( laughs). Seriously it was alright, I have room mates and I am used to crazy stuff going on.
Fiveouncesofpain.com: What have you been doing since the show finished taping?
Tom Lawlor: I took a few weeks off, then I went right back to training at American Top Team in Orlando. I’ve been helping my training partner Seth (Petruzelli ) prepare for his fight in EliteXC this weekend.
Fiveouncesofpain.com: Have you been notified that you will be fighting on the season finale card?
Tom Lawlor: No word yet on that. I hope to, maybe people can start and internet petition and get Joe Silva’s attention and help me out.
Fiveouncesofpain.com: Have you always fought light heavyweight?
Tom Lawlor: Yes, all of my fights have been at 205. I am actually looking to drop and fight at 185.
Fiveouncesofpain.com: Will it be a difficult drop to 185?
Tom Lawlor: Well I walk around at 207. And with the economy being what it is I can’t afford to buy food so I don’t think making 185 is going to be very hard. ( laughs)
Fiveouncesofpain.com: Given the chance would you do it ( the show) all over again?
Tom Lawlor: Absolutely! Free food, free Alcohol, and all the naked guys any man could want. It doesn’t get much better than that…..the exposure has been great, and I was blown away by the emails from people that have been so supportive. I can’t thank them enough.
Fiveouncesofpain.com will be interviewing the latest eliminated cast member from “The Ultimate Fighter: Team Nogueira vs. Team Mir.” each week.