UFC on Fuel 8 Results: Is Hector Lombard a Huge Waste of Money for the UFC?

McKinley NobleCorrespondent IMarch 3, 2013

Hector Lombard cost the UFC a reported $700,000 before losing his very first UFC bout. (Photo Credit: UFC/Zuffa)
Hector Lombard cost the UFC a reported $700,000 before losing his very first UFC bout. (Photo Credit: UFC/Zuffa)

Almost every time Hector Lombard steps into the Octagon, it's harder and harder to justify the high price that the UFC paid to sign him from Bellator MMA.

In fact, Lombard arguably halved his value in his first UFC bout.

Before the former Bellator champion stepped into the co-main event of the horrendous UFC 149 card, "Lightning" was riding a ridiculous 24-0-1 unbeaten streak with only two career losses to established names in Gegard Mousasi and Akihiro Gono.

Had Lombard continued his winning ways, it was feasible to think that a title fight against Anderson Silva would've been in the cards.

But losses to both Tim Boetsch and Yushin Okami have essentially ruined any talk of contendership for Lombard.

Heck, he might even lose his job.

Lombard himself may have acutely predicted his own career path, as even he previously told MMA Junkie before Saturday's card that he feared getting cut from the UFC with a "boring" fight against Okami:

Lombard wants to knock out Bisping, and a clinch-fest with Okami could not only delay that opportunity, but leave him out of a job. He's fully aware of recent cuts that have trimmed the UFC's talent roster.

Should Okami smother him against the cage, he's concerned he might 'become boring, and then get cut because you're boring.' 'I don't want to do that,' Lombard said. 'I want to go out there and punch him and be exciting.

As it stands, it would suit Dana White and the UFC's new modus operandi to cut Lombard at the first chance they get.

According to Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney (via MMA Fighting), Lombard's UFC contract apparently netted him $400,000 just to sign with the promotion.

That alone was even more than the tidy "$300,000 starting purse per fight and pay-per-view participation points" that Lombard currently earns—more than several UFC veterans and even certain champions.

In short, if the plan was to cash-in on Lombard's appeal with hardcore fans and hype his winning streak in a title fight with Silva, the UFC lost out on the deal.

Now, instead of a feared title contender with an improbable 27-0-1 unbeaten streak, the UFC is stuck with an expensive 35-year-old welterweight who's dropped two of his last three fights.

If someone "super f---ing expensive" like Jon Fitch was too pricey to keep—and he made a reported $66,000 to show in his last bout—the UFC has to be wasting their money every single second Hector Lombard is part of their roster.

 


McKinley Noble is an MMA conspiracy theorist and tech writer. His work has appeared in GamePro, Macworld, PC World, 1UP, NVision, The Los Angeles Times, FightFans RadioMMA Mania and Bleacher Report. Talk with him on Twitter.