John Heinis: Is Hector Lombard for real? That's the question everyone is asking about the former Bellator middleweight champion, who is undefeated in 25 fights, heading into this fight.
"Lightning's" critics say that beating the Brian Ebersoles, Alexander Schlemenkos and Trevor Prangleys of the world don't make you a superstar. Could 20 wins in a row really be irrelevant?
Tim "The Barbarian" Boetsch would like to think so.
Boetsch entered UFC 144 a massive underdog against Yushin Okami and looked the part for two rounds, before rallying for arguably the Comeback of the Year and finishing "Thunder" with a series of vicious uppercuts in round three (there has to be a good thunder and lightning joke here somewhere).
The former light heavyweight is 3-0 since dropping down a weight class, but Lombard is going to be a tough customer.
He can throw some bombs on the feet, is a fourth dan black belt in Judo and a black belt in BJJ. That spells out a pretty well-rounded game.
Boetsch has one punch KO power and will have the wrestling advantage, but is that going to be enough? Probably not, but envision a more competitive fight than most are expecting.
Hector Lombard via unanimous decision (29-28)
Dan Hiergesell: This is honestly one of the most intriguing fights of the year.
UFC newcomer Hector Lombard is coming over from a very successful Bellator career and is trying to prove that he is fact the No. 1 middleweight contender in the world.
Coincidentally, Tim Boetsch is trying to do the same exact thing.
After a huge comeback victory over Yushin Okami, the powerful wrestler is in search of another impressive win that could launch him into title contention.
For this fight, involving two of the most heavy-handed 185 lb. fighters in the UFC, nutrition and cardio are going to be the biggest factors.
It's well known that Lombard dumps a lot of energy early in his fights, mostly due to pummeling his opponents into oblivion.
However, Boestch has one of the best chins in the division, so if Lombard doesn't pace himself then Boetsch could be setting the tone of the fight by the third round.
Assuming Lombard is going to try to impress in his UFC debut, along with Boetsch's wrestling pedigree, I really see this fight going one way.
Lombard will try to overwhelm Boestch in the first round only to gas and have Boetsch on top of him for the remaining 10 minutes.
Tim Boetsch via unanimous decision
Jeffrey McKinney: In the night’s co-main event, Hector Lombard will make his long awaited UFC debut against Tim Boetsch.
Lombard is known for knocking guys out, usually in the first round, and being the long time Bellator middleweight champion.
Lombard has not lost in his past 25 fights and has defeated well known guys like James Te-Huna, Brian Ebersole, and most recently Trevor Prangley.
Along with his 17 knockouts, Lombard has seven submission victories and has never been knocked out or submitted.
He will have a challenge though in Boetsch.
Boetsch has looked good since dropping to middleweight going 3-0 in the division.
In his most recent win Boetsch knocked out Yushin Okami after losing the first two rounds of the fight.
This fight has many title implications as a win for either man could lead to a fight against Anderson Silva.
Boetsch is a tough fighter, but if Lombard can do what he’s done throughout his career, this fight won’t make it past Round 1.
Hector Lombard via Round 1 KO
Matt Juul: Barao's not the only fighter boasting a lengthy winning streak on this fight card as former Bellator champ Hector Lombard makes his UFC debut.
The newly signed middleweight has not lost since 2006 and has rolled over the competition since then.
However, the UFC is a different beast and his welcoming party of Tim Boetsch should prove to be an interesting challenge.
Boestch barely survived the opening two frames of his UFC 144 bout against Yushin Okami before defeating the Japanese star in his home country with a third-round knockout.
Now riding a nice three-fight win streak, Boetsch's chin will again be challenged by the heavy-handed Lombard.
While the American may be able to give Lombard a fight, I just don't see him taking out the muscly middleweight, save for another lucky, late rally.
Hector Lombard via TKO