Palhares vs. Lombard: Head-to-Toe Breakdown
The UFC's next trip to the land down under will serve as the finale of the first ever Ultimate Fighter that pits a Australian team against a team from the UK.
Headlining that card on FX will be a fight between middleweight contenders Hector Lombard and Rousimar Palhares. Both men are coming off disappointing losses and will be looking to get back into the title mix.
Here is a head-to-toe breakdown of Lombard and Palhares' meeting.
In terms of the striking matchup, neither man has a background or base in striking, but both men's striking has come along.
Hector Lombard is a power puncher with one-punch knockout capability. A lot of the time, his technical boxing is overlooked by the fact that he can hit a home run with one punch.
Rousimar Palhares has improved a lot in the last year or so, adding good kicks and solid hands to his arsenal. His most memorable striking moment was when he head-kicked Dan Miller and followed up with punches.
The only problem was that he stopped fighting, thinking he had won, and jumped on the cage. The fight was then restarted.
Here, the edge has to go to Lombard for knockout power and overall better technique.
The wrestling aspect of this fight is very interesting, as neither man has an extensive background in wrestling.
The key part, though, is that Hector Lombard is an Olympic-level judoka with good trips, throws and takedown defense. He won't likely use it, though, as Rousimar Palhares is extremely dangerous on the ground.
Palhares has pretty good takedowns for a jiu-jitsu practitioner, but getting Lombard to the ground will be no easy task. He is big, strong and well-balanced.
The advantage here is easy.
Normally, when you have an Olympic judoka taking on a jiu-jitsu black belt, the advantage is a push. Both are dangerous, skilled grapplers.
But in Rousimar Palhares' case, he is no ordinary jiu-jitsu practitioner. He possesses one of the most dangerous submission arsenals in the fight game today.
He is well-known for his leg locks, which are devastating and destructive. He has chokes and other holds as well, but the number of times he has earned tapouts by leg lock is ridiculous.
That said, Hector Lombard is no slouch on the ground either. The problem is, Palhares' submission game is more dangerous and well-refined.
One major aspect that is going to be a wash here is physical strength. Hector Lombard is a truck, but Rousimar Palhares is a brute himself. Usually, both men are the strongest man in the cage, but in this fight, there will be no clear advantage.
Also, there will be a home-field advantage for Hector Lombard. Lombard is a Cuban-Australian, as he lived in the country for a big chunk of his life. The crowd will likely be on his side, which will give him added energy.
Finally, the levels of competition are vastly different. Palhares has consistently fought top-level UFC guys, while Lombard was in the regionals and Bellator knocking around lower-level talent.
Palhares will be ready for a guy of Lombard's caliber, but will Lombard be ready for him?
Come fight night, we will have a serious throwdown on our hands. Both men are intense competitors with a desire to get back into title contention.
The fight will largely contested on the feet. Rousimar Palhares will fish for takedowns, but Hector Lombard will deflect them with his great takedown defense.
Once Palhares cannot get Lombard to the mat, he will likely taste leather. Lombard will knock him out in the second or third round and prove that his first loss was not the real Hector Lombard.
Prediction: Lombard def. Palhares via knockout