Hector Lombard atoned for his UFC debut with a first-round knockout over Rousimar Palhares.
Lombard was measured with his striking. He stalked Palhares around and set up his shots. When he dropped Palhares the first time, he knew that he was not in a position to finish and did not make a crucial mistake on the ground. He allowed Palhares back to his feet, and the fight was soon over.
What we'll remember about this fight
Lombard's finishing flurry.
He dropped Palhares a second time and then finished him on the mat. The shot that put Palhares out was vicious. Lombard has the killer instinct and knows when to go for it all.
What we learned about Hector Lombard
We learned that his fight IQ is high. With many highly aggressive fighters, that is not the case. Lombard, on the other hand, has controlled aggression.
He walked Palhares down and waited. He knows that with his Judo background, it will be extremely difficult for anyone to take him down. That gives him huge confidence. He can be aggressive and use his monster power.
What we learned about Rousimar Palhares
We learned that Palhares still has trouble taking a shot. For all of his jiu-jitsu prowess, he is still rudimentary on the feet.
Palhares is deadly on the mat, but he has a hard time fighting anyone who can defend being taken down. He made no attempt to take Lombard down to the mat and was constantly backpedaling. This allowed Lombard to come forward with virtually no worries.
With not a lot of offensive output, Lombard was still able to drop Palhares twice before the fatal blow on the mat.
What's next for Hector Lombard
Lombard called out Michael Bisping in the post-fight interview, but it is unlikely that he will meet the top contender.
He still commands significant respect in the division, and thus he will likely get a top-10 middleweight in his next outing. If Luke Rockhold joins the UFC in 2013, that would be a great matchup to welcome the Strikeforce champion. If not, Lombard would be an ideal opponent for the winner of Alan Belcher vs. Yushin Okami. Those two top-10 middleweights meet on December 29 at UFC 155.
What's next for Rousimar Palhares
After a second consecutive loss, Palhares will go to the back of the line.
Someone like Tom Lawlor would be a good opponent for Palhares. Lawlor suffered a controversial decision loss to Francis Carmont at UFC 154. The fight makes sense for both fighters. Palhares would have his back against the wall in the fight, but it would be a good addition to any UFC undercard.