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Hector Lombard Undeserving of Fight with Rory MacDonald but May Get It Anyway

USA Today
Brian OswaldMMA Editor August 28, 2016

Some fighters seem allergic to the idea of calling another fighter out. Others are all about that. 

Dana White is certainly a fan of the call-out. White told reporters that texting him "15 times a day" wouldn't get Tyron Woodley a fight against Carlos Condit...until it did. 

Hector Lombard has been calling dudes out left and right of late.

Lombard, who was supposed to face Dong Hyun Kim at UFC Fight Night 48 before getting injured, proclaimed back in April on UFC Tonight that Nick Diaz was "running from him." 

Now he's asking to fight the winner of Rory MacDonald vs. Tarec Saffiedine. 

MacDonald vs. Saffiedine is slated as the main event for UFC Fight Night 54, which is set to take place Oct. 4 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Timing-wise, Lombard vs. the winner lines up with Lombard recovering from his injury. And if the No. 10-ranked Saffiedine happens to upset the No. 2-ranked MacDonald, then a fight between him and the No. 6-ranked Lombard makes a lot of sense.

But a date with a victorious MacDonald, who was forced to take a fight with Saffiedine because he's waiting on a Johny Hendricks-Robbie Lawler title-fight rematch to take place, would be a more dangerous matchup than Lombard deserves.

And that's absolutely no knock on Lombard, who has looked scarily impressive since dropping down from the middleweight division. 

But he's only 2-0 at welterweight, while MacDonald has clearly established himself as the No. 1 contender in waiting. He's earned his title shot. Lombard, while looking great at 170 pounds so far, hasn't quite earned the right to derail what MacDonald has established for himself. 

Adding to that, Lombard has been on the shelf since March. MacDonald beat the brakes off Tyron Woodley, and if he scalps Saffiedine, why should he have to deal with a sidelined Lombard too? 

The muddle for MacDonald, who's 8-2 in the UFC welterweight division, is that he could be forced into taking one more fight before getting a title shot, assuming he beats Saffiedine, of course.

Timing is everything in this sport, though. 

Jun 14, 2014; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Rory MacDonald (red) fights Tyron Woodley (blue) during the Welterweigtht bout at UFC 174 at Rogers Arena. Rory MacDonald defeats Tyron Woodley  via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin
USA TODAY Sports

The aforementioned Hendricks-Lawler rematch does not have a set date yet. That said, Hendricks told Sam Laskaris of Indian Country Today Media Network that he is eyeing UFC 182 on January 3 in Las Vegas, three months after MacDonald vs. Saffiedine. 

That puts MacDonald in a position where he'll have to wait at least six months for the Hendricks-Lawler winner, and longer if that winner sustains any injuries during the fight. 

Which brings us back to the lurking Lombard.

He is perfectly positioned to wind up getting the MacDonald-Saffiedine winner. And while he may not yet deserve a fight with MacDonald (should he win), he was clever to call for the winner. He might just get exactly what he wants. 

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