Heading into his co-main event of UFC 149 against Tim Boetsch, Hector “Lightning” Lombard was being heralded as the man to dethrone or at least give 185-pound linchpin Anderson Silva a run for his money.
A legitimate threat to “The Spider” he ain’t; hell, on his latest showing (a split-decision loss to “The Barbarian”), Lombard isn’t even a bona fide contender in the middleweight ranks.
The pomp, pageantry and promise that followed the former Bellator 185-pound titlist into the Zuffa-based promotion was superseded by a ponderous and pedestrian display that can only be defined as an absolute disappointment.
MMA conspiracy theories? We’ve heard them all before—Octagon jitters, adrenalin dump, undisclosed injury, etc. Still, not to perform on the biggest stage of them all is tantamount to career suicide.
Lombard’s UFC debut was meant to be explosive (power punching), electrifying (Richter-scale-esque finishing), but more importantly to send a message to the rest of the would-be contenders.
Instead he was made to look ordinary against a guy whose chances of vying for the title anytime soon are nonexistent.
This guy brought a 25-fight undefeated streak to the mix, 17 knockouts and a hellish reputation to boot. Seriously?
If that same Lombard stepped into the Octagon with Silva, the Brazilian would be charged with grievous bodily harm or worse.
The assumed upshot for Lombard is the fact the middleweight division is lacking in depth, therefore two or more impressive wins should supposedly propel him into title contention.
That’s wishful thinking because now there must be serious reservations as to how he’d fare against the likes of Vitor Belfort, Brian Stann, Chris Weidman, Alan Belcher and Michael Bisping. Expect the latter to say I told you so.
Oh yeah, Mark Munoz?
The 34-year-old Judoka was willing to kick a title shot and Anderson Silva money to the curb in favor of a bagarre-settling score with Weidman’s victim.
He wants Munoz? Well he can have him on a bronze platter (gold is reserved for elitist combatants). However, apropos his latest outing, I doubt “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” will be quaking in his boots.
At present, nothing suggests the Cuban can cut it with the UFC’s upper-echelon fighters, and that’s the long story short.
If ever there were a synonym for Hector Lombard then it has to be Public Enemies hit single “Don’t Believe The Hype.”
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