Tom Lawlor hadn't fought in the UFC for two years until this past weekend, but avid fans have always remembered him for his funny entrances. From the 'Just Bleed' guy to Dan Severn to Hulk Hogan, Lawlor has done an excellent job impersonating MMA and pro wrestling's most memorable characters (Shockmaster was my personal favorite). But with the new Reebok deal in place, room for fighter individuality has been diminished.
Lawlor still tried to be unique for his UFC on Fox 16 weigh-ins entrance, but apparently Reebok didn't really get what he was trying to do. He explained the whole deal on The MMA Hour this week (transcribed by LowKick):
"My plan was to be Conor McGregor at the weigh-ins, so I had asked if I could wear the Conor McGregor fight kit. You know, they give you the Reebok stuff and they said, ‘do you have any questions?' I said, ‘yes, I have a question. Can I wear Conor McGregor's fight kit?' And the way it was met, to me, was like, ‘why would you want to do that? Why would anyone want to do that? Don't you want your family to buy these jerseys with your name on them?' So right there, it clued me in that perhaps the people that were in charge of some of this stuff weren't as familiar with the product as I would've liked.
"That's what the fans know me as," Lawlor continued. "Now, I don't expect everybody who's an MMA fan to know about me. There's 500 guys in the UFC. Everybody has a different personality, stuff like that. But instead of saying, ‘okay, we'll look into it,' it was kind of like, I was insulted basically."
When that went out the window, he went in another direction - putting on every piece of his Reebok kit, and stripping off a few different layers to the amusement of fans. He didn't wear every item though, and his alternative idea sounds pretty awesome to me:
"I did not wear all of it," Lawlor said, laughing. "There were, I think, two more pairs of socks and three more pairs of underwear, but it got to point where I felt like, okay, if I really go out there and put everything on in this bag, somebody might get pissed as me. There might be some backlash, so let me tone it down a little bit. I was actually at one point going to put another pair of shoes on my hands and walk out with those on all fours like Khabib Nurmagomedov's buddy, the bear. But unfortunately I've got to save something for the future for now."
Lawlor picked up a spectacular knockout win over Gian Villante in his light heavyweight bout, which earned him a performance of the night bonus.