UFC 149: 3 Fights for Hector Lombard to Take Next

Vince Carey@@vcareymmaContributor IJuly 22, 2012

UFC 149: 3 Fights for Hector Lombard to Take Next

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    UFC fans had been waiting years to see Hector Lombard but, after an abysmal performance from the former Bellator middleweight champion in his UFC debut, it’s safe to say that the anticipation has already worn off.

    Looking nothing like the fighter that fans had come to adore outside the Octagon, Lombard fought tentative and flat against Tim Boetsch in the UFC 149 co-main event and it ended up costing him a chance to earn the victory in his first fight under the Zuffa banner.

    After such a disappointing performance from “Lightning,” it’s going to be hard for the UFC to try and use his name to sell the next card he’s a part of, but as long as they match him up against one of the following fighters the fans will get excited about Lombard again.

Mark Munoz

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    The most obvious matchup out there, if only because Lombard called out Mark Munoz before his last fight even started.

    It seems that Lombard didn’t like Munoz questioning his status as a top-tier middleweight, and the amount of disrespect shown by “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” was enough that Lombard said he would turn down a fight with Anderson Silva to make the bout happen.

    Now that Lombard and Munoz are coming off of big losses, this fight makes a ton of sense for both guys and it could help clear up a very crowded middleweight title scene.

    Both of these guys are on the wrong side of 30, and a second high profile loss in a row could send them out of the title scene entirely.

Wanderlei Silva

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    While Lombard looked hesitant to throw caution to the wind against Boetsch, it’s doubtful that he’d make the same mistakes against “The Axe Murderer.”

    Wanderlei Silva can drag anyone into a slugfest, which is exactly what Lombard needs in order to earn some goodwill back after suffering from some serious Octagon jitters.

    Silva will come forward and open fire, and if Lombard doesn’t become aggressive and try to finish Wanderlei he could easily find himself on the wrong end of back-to-back defeats.

    A fight between these two makes sense as far as matchmaking is concerned and, more importantly, Silva won’t allow Lombard to engage in another boring fight.

Michael Bisping-Brian Stann Loser

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    At this point, it might be easier for the UFC to make Lombard sit on the sidelines for a few months and let fans forget about his last performance.

    If that’s the way the organization decides to go, a fight against the loser of a September matchup between Michael Bisping and Brian Stann makes all the sense in the world.

    Stann was originally set to welcome Lombard to the Octagon at UFC on FOX 4 in August, but an injury to Stann forced the fight to be called off and Lombard was moved to UFC 149 in the shuffle.

    Fans were eagerly anticipating the fight between Lombard and Stann, and it wouldn’t be hard to get them back on board if the matchup was eventually rescheduled.

    However if Stann is able to get past Bisping, we may have an even more fun matchup to look forward to.

    Bisping has made it clear that he thinks Lombard needs to fight a higher level of competition if he wants to get near Anderson Silva, and ironically a win over Bisping would throw Lombard’s name back into the title mix faster than anything else.