After a disappointing promotional debut at UFC 149, Hector Lombard made an incredible statement tonight. That statement seemed to say: I’m here, I’m every bit as vicious as billed, and what you witnessed at UFC 149 was nowhere near indicative of my true abilities.
He also made a post-fight statement, bellowing Michael Bisping’s name, declaring, in pronounced fashion that the brash Brit is in his sights as a hopeful opponent in the near future.
The former Bellator champion clearly sports major disdain for the outspoken Englishman.
Given the ease with which he disposed of Rousimar Palhares, Lombard will likely leap frog a handful of dangerous middleweights, and put himself in a position to challenge some of the promotion’s most recognizable names.
Top tier contenders in Chris Weidman, Vitor Belfort and Michael Bisping aren’t likely to happen in the near future, but don’t be stunned to see this powerhouse tangle with a few of the Top 10 185-pounders in the immediate future.
Very few men dispatch of Palhares in the fashion that “Lightning” did tonight.
While Rousimar fired off a few impressive leg kicks early, it took Hector just over 3:30 to catch "Toquinho" with a barrage of savage hooks that sent the Brazilian crashing to the canvas. Lombard leaped in for the finish, and a few more sledgehammers to the visibly dazed Palhares turned the lights completely out.
Dan Henderson managed to secure a three-round decision victory over Rousimar at UFC 88, and Nate Marquardt forced Palhares’ mental instability to surface when he stopped the Brazilian with a clean punch after some serious confusion.
Palhares opted to complain mid-fight, that Nate had applied some grease to his lower extremities, and “The Great” made him pay dearly for it.
If that fight proved anything, it’s the fact that Palhares may benefit from a visit to a sports psychologist. The guy’s mental state completely collapses when faced with adversity.
In fact, Alan Belcher proved that case when he himself abused Rousimar at UFC on FOX 3.
Once “The Talent” had swiftly negated the submission attack of "Toquinho," he proceeded to trounce his foe. Palhares had one simple answer: unstated forfeiture.
The man once more melted under pressure and Belcher exited the cage having handed the Brazilian his third defeat inside the confines of the octagon.
Those were all defeats worth mentioning, but Rousimar has never quite been pummeled in the fashion he was tonight. Lombard never for one moment looked anything other than completely focused, fast and hungry for a finish. Looks aren’t always deceiving.
Lombard isn’t poised to bull his way to the top of the division should he tear through his next opponent, but a pair of finishes as brutal as what we witnessed tonight at UFC on FX 6 will leave this Cuban defector a feared competitor that could certainly find himself in title contention.
If tonight’s performance proved anything about Lombard, it’s the fact that his inaugural promotional performance was a bit of a fluke.
Whether Lombard was injured, suffered from first time jitters, or simply overlooked Tim Boetsch and didn’t train adequately, he didn’t perform as he’s capable of performing.
The Hector Lombard we watched tonight looked every bit the killer who ran through 20 consecutive foes on his way to the UFC.
“Lightning” looks to be the real deal, the only lingering question is: Will “Lightning” strike the same place—the UFC—twice?
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