Regardless or whether or not Hector Lombard gets a mulligan for what went down at UFC 149 against Tim Boestch, the real Lombard showed up against Rousimar Palhares at UFC on FX 6. Question Palhares' striking at will, but don't discredit how Lombard exposed the lone dimension of Palhares' game.
Ironically, the first minute saw a patient Lombard trade kicks in spurts with Palhares, who clearly desired to break down Lombard's legs before trying to hook his heel or lock his legs up.
Palhares made it clear that he intended to keep up that strategy throughout the opening minute and barely missed a right hand of his own in the process.
Once the fight reached that 90-second mark, something re-lit Lombard's fire, and it made Palhares pay for trying to go after his legs. After the 90-second mark, Lombard began to find the mark more consistently, knocking down Palhares twice.
The first time Lombard landed, he deflected the agony of one of Palhares' kicks and knocked him down but allowed him to return to a vertical stance before sticking his right hand. The second landing saw Lombard plant a firm left hand on Palhares, this time not letting him back up until he sensed that he would risk playing Palhares' game by going in for the kill.
Once Lombard allowed him back up the second time, Lombard lived up to his "Lightning" nickname and brought a thunderstorm of heavy blows to the anatomy of Palhares before the referee finally stepped in.
Re-watch that performance if any doubts still exists as to how one knockout of Palhares, a grappler with subpar striking at best, means that Lombard has returned to fighting form.
After another glance, one will see how Lombard returns to the form he never lost.
Simply put, Lombard finds ways to make tough fighters appear as though they can't even jab properly, and on the strength of this win, Lombard knows that if he still wants the UFC middleweight title, he must continue to make great fighters look amateur in all realms, no matter how ugly the fights become.
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