(Who the hell just asked me if I want to be a f*cking fighter?!)
Talk about a great way to start of your day. Confirmed by none other than “Lightning” himself via his Twitter, it appears that Hector Lombard has officially signed with the UFC. After being offered a contract a little over a week ago, Lombard gave the Bellator brass a chance to match the UFC’s bid. But Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney must have come to the same realization that nearly every sappy rom-com protagonist has; if you love something, let it go. Here’s what he told MMAFighting, who first broke the news:
We have a business model where we make decisions based on analyzing data. Since the first day we came into being, we made decisions based on real models, not hypotheticals. The UFC model is largely based on pay-per-view, and the offer they made to Hector is going to be monetized via pay-per-view. While pay-per-view could play a role in our future, today it doesn’t. So, we did our due diligence to review the UFC contract, analyzed it in terms of charging our audience to see Hector vs. putting him on free TV, and we decided to allow the UFC to sign Hector, where I am extremely confident he will win the UFC middleweight title on pay-per-view.
Currently 31-2-1 in MMA competition, Lombard finds himself on a ridiculous 25-fight unbeaten streak, including victories over TUF 7′s Jesse Taylor, UFC veterans Brian Ebersole and Joe Doerksen, and arch-nemesis Alexander Shlemenko, who, barring a sudden signing with the UFC, will not be receiving his well-earned rematch with Lombard anytime soon. Lombard has not lost a fight since 2006, where he dropped a unanimous decision to Gegard Mousasi at Pride Bushido 13.
So I ask unto you, Potato Nation, who should Lombard face in his octagon debut? And how will he cope with fighting in a ring smaller than your average soccer arena?
Join us after the jump as we bid adieu to Hector’s Bellator run with a look back at his greatest hits.