The 34-year-old Hector Lombard is all of these things and much, much more.
But, (and there's always a but)...
Vicious as he may be, Lombard is not worthy of a UFC title shot, even if he blasts Tim Boetsch in record time in his promotional debut at UFC 149, and here's why:
His level of competition has, up until this point, been less than top, to say the least.
A quick look at his recent resume yields few fighters with instant name recognition, and this is a problem for Lombard.
Sure, he is undefeated over the course of the last eighty-six years, but I wholeheartedly believe there are at least five UFC middleweights who would also be undefeated against the opponents he has faced (and that number is probably actually closer to 10, but I digress).
Adding to this, Lombard is not facing a top-5 UFC middleweight in his debut; he is facing Tim Boetsch.
Look, I am a born and raised Pennsylvania boy, and I'm always rooting for "The Barbarian" because of this, but he is little more than a good wrestler with powerful hands.
How many of those are there in the UFC again?
Right! Swarms, multitudes.
Boetsch possesses the same skill set as 20 other UFC fighters, and because of this, he is not a great barometer for Lombard's readiness to challenge for a title. He is a perfect matchup to see if Lombard belongs in the promotion at all, but beating Tim Boetsch certainly does not mean you are ready to challenge for the title.
Speaking of... Quick trivia question: who is the kingpin in the UFC's middleweight division?
Ding Ding Ding!
None other than the greatest mixed martial artist to ever fight in the UFC and to ever set foot on this great earth, Anderson "The Spider" Silva.
Now, if you want to challenge Silva, you'd better have a case. You'd better be world-class, and you'd better be ready.
Lombard is, at this point, one out of three of these things (world-class).
Making things worse, Hector Lombard is about as interesting outside of the cage as Helen Keller's talk radio show (it got canceled after one episode if you were wondering).
If you've ever listened to him talk, he is like a robot programmed by PR junkies to say the right things and move on (think Gray Maynard, only with a lesser command on the English language).
The point is, Hector Lombard may or may not be the future of the middleweight division, but beating Tim Boetsch does not make him ready for a title shot.
Beating Boetsch simply does not put you to the front of the pack at 185. When you add in Lombard's lack of personality and less-than-stellar recent resume, it is undeniable that he would need at least one more big win to get a shot at the middleweight strap.
I like what you have done over the course of your career, Mr. Lombard, I truly do, but show me you can do it against the best of the best.
Until then, get in line; there are others waiting too ya know.
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