SUNDAY NEWS DIGEST 2/26: “Filthy” Tom Lawler officially suspended two years by USADA (w/Cervantes Analysis)

By Michael Hiscoe, MMATorch contributor

MMA fans are going to have to do without one of the sport’s most colorful personalities for about two years.

After testing positive for the prohibited substance, ostarine, in October, “Filthy” Tom Lawlor has been handed a two-year suspension by USADA. News first broke in November that Lawlor had been provisionally suspended pending the results of a full review process, which is now complete and the suspension is official.

USADA’s official statement classifies ostarine as an anabolic agent that is illegal in the United States and is not FDA approved. The statement did note that ostarine has been found in many dietary supplements, but it appears Lawlor was unable to provide evidence that he ingested a supplement that contained the drug without listing it. Lawlor posted a screenshot of his lab results that listed the level of the substance in his system at “low.”

Lawlor will be eligible to fight again on October 10, 2018. He will be 35 at that time.

Lawlor, who has become as popular for his performances at weigh-ins and walkouts as much as in the cage has only fought three times in the last four years, missing significant time from 2013-2015 due to injury. He had won two of his last three fights, his latest fight being a very close decision loss to Corey Anderson last March.

Lawlor looks to already have found a way to spend his time away from fighting, as he worked a pro-wrestling match for the Las Vegas-based Future Stars of Wrestling promotion.

While Lawlor will be missed by fans inside the cage, his knack for entertainment should see him do well for himself as a pro wrestler during his absence.

Hiscoe’s Analysis: Lawlor has denied taking ostarine since he was first suspended in November and hasn’t been able to explain it yet. He could have taken a tainted supplement without his knowledge and that’s why it showed up at such a low level. It’s also possible that he simply cheated and got caught. It’s hard to believe that any UFC fighter today would take what is clearly a prohibited substance when there is random out of competition testing and two-year suspensions if you get caught. Regardless of how it got into his system, it’s too bad that Lawlor will be out of action, as he’s an underrated and fan-friendly fighter and he’s already lost years of the prime of his career due to injury and not he’ll be out until he’s 35. It wouldn’t shock me if he tried to transition to pro wrestling full time.


-Gian Villante has been granted a retroactive therapeutic use exemption (TUE) by USADA for an inhaler he took to treat his asthma. Villante tested positive for vilanterol, an ingredient in his inhaler. He did declare the use of the inhaler at the time of the sample collection but had not applied for a TUE at the time. USADA’s investigating confirmed that Villante was taking the inhaler for a legitimate medical purpose.

-UFC 214, which was slated for Aug. 5 has been moved one week earlier to July 29. The event will take place at the Honda Center in Anaheim.

-”Countdown to UFC 209” will air tonight on FS1 at 9 ET.


-Ovince Saint Preux vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima at UFC Fight Night Nashville on April 22.

-Ariel Helwani is reporting that Alexander Gustafsson vs. Glover Teixeira is being targeted for the main event of a May 28 UFC event from Stockholm, Sweden.

NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: SATURDAY NEWS DIGEST 2/25: Sonnen says Tito acknowledged he verbally tapped and the ref missed it in their fight (w/Cervantes Analysis)

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