Although Hector Lombard‘s UFC career hasn’t exactly gotten off to the start he probably hoped it would, it appears that the former Bellator middleweight kingpin will join the likes of Brian Stann and Tim Boetsch (to name a couple) when he attempts to drop a weight class to save his career. Lombard informed Ariel Helwani on yesterday’s edition of UFC Tonight that, after enlisting the help of Mike Dolce to make a test cut to 170 lbs, he is now ready to make a full commitment to welterweight and already has an opponent in mind: former Strikeforce one-time welterweight champion Nate Marquardt.
Although Lombard was being rumored to coach opposite Patrick Cote on the next international season of The Ultimate Fighter, it appears that he will need a little more time to make a safe cut. As much as we’d like take a shot at Lombard for calling out a guy on the heels of a first round KO loss, this fight honestly makes a good deal of sense considering where both men currently stand in their respective weight classes. Marquardt has dropped his past two contests to Jake Ellenberger and Tarec Saffiedine, while Lombard has dropped two of his past three as well (to Boetsch and Yushin Okami). It’s crazy to think that a little over a year ago, we would have assumed this fight was for some kind of title or #1 contender bout at the minimum, not the right to stay employed. Yet here we are.
Speaking of two fighters in need of a win…
Stefan Struve, who never met a TKO he couldn’t appreciate, was recently called out by none other than Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, also during yesterday’s UFC Tonight. Following a second round submission via armbar loss (my reaction to this news can be seen here) to fellow TUF Brazil 2 coach Fabricio Werdum at UFC on FUEL 10 earlier in the month, Big Nog was forced to once again go under the knife to repair his damaged arm. According to the longtime legend, the surgery was a big success and he expects to be back in action in December, preferably against the lanky Dutchman. Struve, who also required corrective surgery following his third round jaw-shattering KO loss to Mark Hunt at UFC on FUEL 8, has been requesting a fight with Nog for some time now, so we should assume that this one’s all but a done deal.
At this point, there’s simply no convincing “Minotauro” that he needs to even consider the big “R” word, so instead, let’s just fantasize about what weapon or power up bonus we’d prefer to see Nogueira enter the octagon with in his next fight to even the odds. An evil chainsaw hand? Turbo boosters? A rocket launcher? The freakin’ BLUE SHELL?