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UFC on Fuel 8 Results: Did Hector Lombard Overlook Yushin Okami?

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 15:  Hector Lombard reacts after the Middleweight bout between Hector Lombard and  Rousimar Palhares at Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre on December 15, 2012 on the Gold Coast, Australia.  (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)
Matt Roberts/Getty Images
Nick CaronAnalyst IMarch 3, 2013

Any time an MMA fighter loses focus on his opponent at hand and begins looking toward the future, there's always a cause for concern. That may have been what happened on Saturday night when Hector Lombard lost his second bout in his past three, falling short in a split decision to Yushin Okami.

Lombard struggled early in the bout and ate countless jabs from Okami, who is not well known for his striking. The height differential between the fighters was apparent, though, and it seemed surprising that Lombard didn't have an answer for a very common offensive weapon for taller fighters like Okami

It wasn't until the third round, when Lombard abandoned his game plan and simply went on the attack, that he was able to catch Okami and nearly steal the fight. 

There's no doubt that Lombard is a talented fighter. His flawless run in Bellator and ridiculous 25-fight streak without a loss prove his worth. 

But when Lombard performs the way he did after spending months calling out Michael Bisping, it's hard not to think that he simply overlooked Okami, who happens to be one of the best fighters in the world. 

With two losses in three fights, some will begin to call for Lombard to be cut from the UFC roster. That's highly unlikely, however, and he will get another chance to prove himself in the Octagon.

What he needs to do going forward is stop worrying about the peripherals. He's not going to be fighting Anderson Silva. It's even hard to argue that he should fight Bisping after his uninspiring performance on Saturday night, so it's time for him to focus on the task at hand. 

The guy who destroyed Rousimar Palhares in December is still inside Lombard. He just needs to let him loose. 

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