(At times like these, you just have to keep telling yourself, “At least I’m not Ray Elbe…at least I’m not Ray Elbe…” / Image via MiddleEasy)
Can we all just pretend that Hector Lombard‘s UFC debut against Tim Boetsch didn’t happen? The heavy-handed killer we saw run down Rousimar Palhares like a frightened deer at the TUF Smashes Finale was the guy we’ve been waiting for and expecting since he jumped over to the UFC from Bellator. But there was a reason why Lombard’s dance partner looked tentative during the match — Palhares suffered ligament damage and broken bones in his foot after throwing a kick in the opening moments. Toquinho explains:
“During the fight, my kick was working well. But soon in the first round, one of my kicks hit Lombard’s shin below his knee. I heard a snap, and I knew something bad happened. From that moment on, I [started] feeling my foot more and more numb and without strength to walk around the Octagon.”
An injury early into a match can take a fighter’s mind completely out of the competition — just ask Travis Browne. As Palhares struggled to process his body’s new limitations, he turned into a sitting duck for Lombard’s power punches, and now the Cuban is officially a factor in the middleweight division. Meanwhile, Palhares has now lost his last two UFC bouts by first-round stoppage, including his TKO defeat against Alan Belcher in May. Get well soon, Stump.