In the interest of extending his UFC career, former Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard will attempt to make the drop to welterweight after receiving nose surgery.
Ariel Helwani broke the news on Tuesday's edition of UFC Tonight on Fuel TV. Here's what he had to say about Lombard joining the 170-pound ranks (transcription via MMA Mania):
I spoke to Lombard today and he's about to work with Mike (Dolce) because he wants to get leaner," Helwani said. "He walks around at 205 and he feels that at his height, it's not really at his best interest to be fighting at 185. He knows the UFC wants him to go down ... First thing's first, he needs to have nose surgery. He broke his nose fighting Yushin Okami so the surgery is coming up next for him -- hopefully next week. After that, he's going to focus on that cut down to 170.
On Monday, "Lightning" indicated that he would be working with Dolce, a famed nutritionist in the MMA community, strongly hinting at the potential drop:
Looking forward to be workingwith Mike Dolce!— Hector Lombard (@HectorLombard) April 8, 2013
Despite standing just 5'8", Lombard has competed as heavy as light heavyweight (205 pounds).
Early in his career, the former Olympic-level Judoka competed in PRIDE's welterweight division on two separate occasions. However, the welterweight limit in PRIDE was 183 pounds.
Between February 2007 and November 2011, Lombard racked up an incredible 25-fight unbeaten streak (24-0-1), including an 8-0 record under the Bellator banner.
However, the American Top Team standout has gone just 1-2 in the UFC, losing close decisions to Tim Boetsch and Yushin Okami and scoring a definitive knockout over Rousimar Palhares.
With the help of Dolce, will Lombard be a legitimate contender in the UFC's welterweight division?