Lombard-Okami Added to UFC on Fuel 8 in Japan

Riley KontekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 8, 2013

The fans were calling for it, and the UFC has responded in appropriate fashion.

It was announced via UFC.com that Japanese star Yushin Okami will fight on his home turf when he meets Cuban-born powerhouse Hector Lombard. It is a fight that could potentially produce a top middleweight contender.

Okami, a former title challenger to Anderson Silva, recently stayed in the win column with a dominating victory against Alan Belcher at UFC 155. He used his signature grinding style to stifle any offense that Belcher offered, sweeping the judges' scorecards to a unanimous decision.

Previous to that win, he had moved back into the win column with a TKO win over Buddy Roberts at UFC 150.

That win erased a huge comeback loss suffered at the hands of Tim Boetsch, as well as an embarrassing knockout loss to Anderson Silva back at UFC 134. 

As for Lombard, the former Bellator champion's two-fight stint in the UFC has seen mixed results.

He debuted in less-than-stellar fashion when he dropped a split decision to Boetsch at UFC 149. After that loss, many labeled him a bust.

However, he recently showed why he was worth the big bucks at UFC on FX in Australia when he clobbered Rousimar Palhares in under a round.

This fight takes two top-10 fighters and pits them against each other. While Lombard is a heavy-handed striker with solid submission skills, Okami is a relentless grinder who frustrates opponents.

Fans are in for a treat, as this is on free TV. UFC on Fuel 8 takes place March 3 at the Saitama Super Arena, famous for hosting UFC 144 last year as well as a number of events during Pride.