• UFC 154

Big-headed Lawlor calls out Roy Nelson

Ben Blackmore November 15, 2012

Tom Lawlor is set to fight Francis Carmont at UFC 154 this weekend, but he has one eye on a main event slot against Roy Nelson.

Lawlor was in crowd-pleasing mood at Thursday's open workouts, walking to the specially arranged Octagon in a bathrobe before stripping down to a sumo-like nappy to entertain the watching public.

In front of the camera, the middleweight also put on a show, suggesting he could gain 50lbs to take on Nelson. The heavyweight has just been handed Matt Mitrione as a replacement opponent for Shane Carwin, but Lawlor was up for filling in on the TUF 16 Finale.

"I look at the upcoming shows and really I want Roy Nelson now that Shane Carwin is out," Lawlor told ESPN. "Nothing against Roy Nelson, but I know after Thanksgiving I'll weigh 230 or 240 so why not step right back in there and be in the main event?

"I've looked at pictures of him in the past and thought, 'Wow, if I really let my beard go I would look almost exactly like Roy Nelson. It might take a while to get in the shape he's in, but I think in the future I could possibly do it."

Addressing the more pressing challenge of Carmont, Lawlor again took a light-hearted approach to his analysis of the bout.

"He is a big guy but I'm pretty big too," Lawlor said. "I think my head is about twice the size of his, so if we look at it purely from a standpoint of body v body, he's taller than me, his arms are twice the size of mine, but if you look at his head compared to my head I have him beat pretty easily."

Lawlor did eventually give a more sensible evaluation of the fight, revealing he may not turn to his wrestling to beat submissions dangerman Carmont.

"A lot of guys have a feeling-out process, maybe it helps them win fights, but if I stand on the outside against guys with longer arms and reach, I'll get picked apart. So I like to get the action going," Lawlor said.

"Having said that, don't be surprised to see this fight stay on the feet. I work my hands, I've seen stuff I can take advantage of. I think this fight will have a bit of everything."

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Ben Blackmore is deputy editor of ESPN.co.uk