It’s looking like current Bellator middleweight champion and world renowned can-crusher Hector Lombard may finally get his chance to make waves in the UFC. Yes, it seems the man who has vowed to “take Anderson Silva’s head off” was recently offered a contract with the UFC in light of his dispute-ridden contract with Bellator expiring earlier this month. The Cuban-born knockout artist has been out of action since steamrolling Trevor Prangley in the second round of their catchweight non-title affair back in November of 2011, and has still yet to grant season five middleweight tournament winner Alexander Shlemenko his much deserved rematch. We can likely call that one a wash at this point.
And although that sucks for Shlemenko, we’ve got to admit that we’d much rather see “Lightning” in the UFC. If you recall, Lombard was supposed to make his promotional debut way back at UFC 78 in November of 2007 against Karo Parisyan, but Visa issues forced him to withdraw after he was denied entry into the country. He was eventually replaced by Ryo Chonan, who couldn’t handle “The Heat” and was defeated by unanimous decision.
Five years and countless corpses of MMA journeyman later, we may finally see Lombard live up to his potential.
But before we start setting ourselves up for disappointment, we (and the UFC) are awaiting a move from the Bellator brass, who still have an opportunity to match the UFC’s offer. Bellator CEO told Sherdog that a “strategic decision” would determine Lombard’s future with the company, but that they wouldn’t even begin deliberation until after this weekend’s Bellator 66 event:
We’ve received the final proposed UFC agreement from Hector’s attorney, and right now we are in the process of reviewing it to determine whether we’re going to match the agreement. We’ve got the 60 pages of UFC contract that were forwarded to us by Hector’s counsel.
Out of respect for Hector, I think we will turn [the UFC contract] around very quickly. Obviously, we have a huge event coming up Friday. As soon as that is over, we will sit down with our partners and go through the UFC contract line-for-line and make a strategic decision whether we’re going to match it or pass. [If we pass, we will] wish him the best and let him go knock out everybody in the UFC.
When reviewing the situation, Rebney was very aware of the value Lombard holds in his promotion, but wants to assure the media that there would be no hard feelings between Lombard and Bellator were he to leave:
The reality is that Hector is going to do extremely well whether he is fighting in the Octagon or the Bellator circle, and I think everybody knew that. He’s one of the best middleweights on the face of the earth. He hasn’t fought in a long time, and he had to wait through these periods contractually to get to a point where he could go out and seek an offer from a competing organization.
We’ve been waiting on the actual contract itself to see all of the specifics and every conceivable detail and know exactly what is being offered. Now we have something really specific to look at.
We don’t want to wish any ill will towards our buddy Bjorn, but needless to say, we would really like the chance to see Hector prove (or disprove) himself against a fighter who is somewhere close to his skill level. Bellator hasn’t provided that since the first Shlemenko fight, which was absolutely dominated by Lombard. And let’s face it, after Anderson Silva guides Chael Sonnen to a higher plane of existence at UFC 147, the UFC’s middleweight division will be all but dried up. Unless you think Vitor Belfort, Brian Stann, or Mark Munoz actually stand a chance at beating Anderson, in which case, you likely eat your food through a straw and still think The Rolling Stones sound great live.
So what do you guys think about this? Will Hector do work in the UFC or prove his haters right?