Top middleweight contenders clashed at UFC on Fuel 8 in Japan when Hector Lombard met Yushin Okami. For fans, this was a throwdown between two top middleweight contenders.
In a close, hotly contested affair, Okami bested Lombard via split decision. It was a result that could have gone either way and had MMA fans pondering who actually won in reality.
Here is what we learned from the fight.
What we'll remember about this fight
I don't think that there is a single thing that will be remembered from this fight. Both got their takedowns and imposed their will, but nothing really stood out.
What we learned about Hector Lombard
Hector is a main-event talent who isn't ready for the main event. Lombard is now 1-2 in the UFC after a spectacular run in the regional circuit. There is no doubt he is talented, but losses to Okami and Tim Boetsch have altered his stock.
What we learned about Yushin Okami
He is a main-event talent who is as exciting as a cold sore. Okami will always be a top-five guy, but his fights fail to please the pleasure seeker. He has awesome wrestling and grappling skills, but he is as lay-and-pray as they come.
What's next for Lombard
The Cuban-born transplant needs to fight his way back into the thick of things. A fight against a high-level struggler like the loser of Alan Belcher-Michael Bisping would be suitable.
What's next for Okami
He is not ready for a title shot yet. Instead, let him bang with Vitor Belfort in a fight that could provide a title contender to Anderson Silva.