Hector Lombard vs. Nate Marquardt: 3 Reasons to Be Excited for This Fight
For Hector Lombard and Nate Marquardt, the move to welterweight may have felt a like a way to start over.
Neither Lombard nor Marquardt found much success in the middleweight division over the past few years, and each has since made the big change to drop down 15 pounds. Thus far, Marquardt is 1-2 at 170, while Lombard has yet to compete in his new division.
Tonight, each fighter looks to ignite a run up the welterweight ladder in what should be an entertaining contest. Here are the three biggest reasons we're excited about the fight.
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While Lombard and Marquardt no longer are competitive middleweights, they're past successes in the 185-pound division helped build them into the stars they are today.
Now, neither fighter is a superstar, but this fight is partially intriguing based on the name-value each fighter has attained over his career.
Marquardt once was at the top of the 185-pound division, even fighting for the middleweight title opposite middleweight champion Anderson Silva at one point. Meanwhile, Lombard wrecked every challenger in Bellator, moving on to the UFC as one of the more frightening fighters at middleweight.
In 2013, the former middleweight contenders no longer compete at 185 pounds, but as new members of the welterweight division, their name-value and past successes should make for some terrific matchups. And they certainly make this bout an interesting one.
Future at Welterweight
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While their pasts have allowed Marquardt and Lombard to successfully build themselves into MMA stars, each has come to a crossroads in his career. After all, no one makes a definitive move to a new division unless that fighter is looking to start over.
But with the big change comes a big opportunity for these two, and—though Marquardt has struggled early—the two welterweights find a better fit at welterweight than they did at middleweight.
The 170-pound division has enormous roster depth, featuring perhaps the most impressive lineup out of any other division in the promotion. Beneath champion Georges St-Pierre, fighters such as Johny Hendricks, Jake Ellenberger, Rory MacDonald, Martin Kampmann, Robbie Lawler and plenty more compete. The winner of Marquardt vs. Lombard will take a big step into that shark tank.
The future will look bleak for the loser of tonight's fight, but either Lombard or Marquardt, whoever should win, should be staring into a rather bright one.
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Plenty of fighters are content with winning in any manner they can, and both Marquardt and Lombard sure do need to pick up a victory tonight. But that likely shouldn't stop them from searching adamantly for a finish.
Each fighter has 32 career wins as a professional mixed martial artist. Marquardt has finished nine of his by knockout and 15 by submission, good for a stoppage rate of 75 percent. Meanwhile, Lombard—with 18 knockouts and seven submission wins—has finished just one more fight than Marquardt, good for a 78 percent clip.
The Cuban Lombard did fight weaker competition during his time in Bellator, allowing him to rack up a ridiculous amount of KOs and continue to build on a lengthy winning streak. But he remains dominant in power-punching, constantly in search of the knockout.
Marquardt, on the other hand, is not known for outstanding submissions or brutal punching power, but rather a strong all-around approach, which allows him to overwhelm opponents at times.
Considering the pair has combined for 49 stoppages in 64 wins, there's a good chance this one doesn't go the distance. And if it does, it won't be for a lack of effort.