TMZ Sports talked to Lawler -- who was in NYC promoting his August 3 fight with Colby Covington -- about his former teammate Masvidal's monster win at UFC 239 last weekend.
"That was damn impressive. Masvidal is awesome and it was cool to see him go out there and showcase his skills," Lawler says ... "He's been in the sport a long time and never got the respect that I think he was due. And, hes earning it now."
"He has almost 50 fights. He's fought a lot of the good guys in the sport. He's impressive!"