It turns out that the pair have a beef between them that can be traced back to a particular sparring session in 2008.
According to Lombard’s former and Barnett’s current trainer from Combat Submission Wrestling, Erik Paulson, a day or two after a bloody 30-minute boxing match between the duo at the gym, "The Babyfaced Assassin" dragged Lombard into the cage and used his weight advantage to hold him on the canvas and humiliate the Cuban judoka in front of his teammates.
Paulson revealed that the incident was the reason Lombard walked away from the gym to join American Top Team and said he’s surprised that he’s still upset over it.
Look, you know me, and you know what I’m going to say about the Bellator Fighting Championships: when it comes to MMA, they’re doing it right. Bellator does away with traditional ranking and matchmaking for their main events; they instead sign an eight-person field and let the fighters decide amongst themselves. It’s a format that appeals to fans and fighters alike, and it’s produced some exciting fights and amazing finishes. When some promotions go after a high-visibility free agent, they try to feed them impressive victories and pave the way toward championships. Bellator just drops them in the quarterfinals like everyone else. Upsets happen (see: Huerta, Roger). Cinderella stories happen (see: Curran, Pat). But it feels much more legitimate seeing champions develop organically like this while some promotions throw title fights to guys coming off of losses.
Never mind if injuries throw things off (Curran out versus Eddie Alvarez due to shoulder injury), or if those high visibility free agents get a shot at the champ anyway (Huerta in versus Alvarez, albeit in a non-title bout) or speculations that Bellator is on the verge of financial insolvency — they’re putting on good shows and the fighters are hungry. There’s entertainment in them there FSN channels.
If you’ve missed Bellator like I’ve missed Bellator (or if you’ve just missed me, for whatever reason), come along and I’ll tell you about the first event of Bellator’s third season. We’ll talk about the minor leagues of heavyweights, and the elite picture of the women’s featherweight field. Plus we might talk about how catchy that Bed Intruder Song is…
(Hector Lombard produces the fastest K.O. in Bellator history. What, you thought Jay Silva was going to shock the world? Props: YouTube.com/BellatorMMA.)
By DL “Potential Sociopath” Richardson
Say you live in Louisiana. Not the cool part where people party their asses off every day. I’m talking about inland, where you still get the humidity, but no one dresses up before Ash Wednesday, and you can never find a place to sell you a to-go alcoholic beverage. Say you live in Monroe. What do you do for fun? Well, you could go hang out at the Pecanland Mall and hit on that cute girl at Yummy Japan, but if you have any damn sense, you catch the Bellator Fighting Championships whenever they come into town. Last night, Bellator visited the Monroe Civic Center for the semifinal round of this season’s featherweight tournament, and as usual, they put on a show. Full results and recap after the jump…
After news broke Friday that former top-10 middleweightPaulo Filho was possibly flaking out on his Bellator 18 fight against Hector Lombard, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney replied that his people were in contact with Filho’s people and everyone’s duckies were in a row. Filho’s story had been that he would not receive a visa in time to travel to the US for the event, and indicated that the problem was either with Bellator officials or his own management, but had nothing to do with him. He was actually kinda bummed about it, poor guy, telling GracieMag: “I’m really upset because I’ve been training a lot. I did everything just right; I don’t know what to say.”
Despite Bellator’s official line that everything is fine, and everyone should just be cool, like a couple of little Fonzies, rumors are circulating that Paulo will be replaced by 5-3 fellow Brazilian Jay Silva. Silva, who went 0-2 in the UFC against CB Dollaway and Chris Leben, was apparently Bellator’s backup just in case something happened. Like a volcano. Or Filho going all batshit crazy.
Bellator’s press agents were not immediately available for comment.
UPDATE, 12:48 p.m. ET: Rebney has confirmed the news. And so, Bellator 18′s "SuperFight" is downgraded to an "OkayFight." At least we still have the featherweight semis to look forward to.
(The best part of having a million dollar bill on your person at all times? No more ATM fees.)
By DL Richardson
File it under “W” for “We Knew This Shit Would Happen”: GracieMag.com is reporting that Pride standout turned crazy manPaulo Filho will not be able to compete at next week’s Bellator 18 show. Filho was scheduled to face current Bellator middleweight champ Hector Lombard in a non-title SuperFight, which was, on paper at least, an intriguing matchup — much more compelling than last night’s Alvarez-Neer spanking. Filho, who lists his turn-ons as “Pitbulls, tattoos, and tattoos of pitbulls,” told GracieMag that some kind of administrative snafu was to blame for his failure to secure a visa: “It seems the event took too long in sending out the letter I needed to present at the consulate and I’m not sure but it could be there was some kind of failure on the part of my managers. So, I won’t get my visa in time.”
Now, the Bellator guys have done a remarkable job of reacting to fighter travel problems once already this season: When the Icelandic volcano apocalypse prevented welterweight “Judo” Jim Wallhead from traveling to the US to participate in the tournament, Rebney quickly substituted Ryan Thomas, who’d lost by a controversial referee stoppage to Ben Askren. Ryan Thomas won, setting up a rematch with Askren in the semifinals. Whether they’ll be able to work similar magic this quickly remains to be seen, but if they manage to pull a good replacement out of their asses, it will rival anything Toby Imada does for “Submission of the Year.”
For those unfamiliar with him outside of the bizarre things he has done as of late like talking to ghosts during his fight with Chael Sonnen and tattooing his face like Mike Tyson, Filho used to be an absolute juggernaut when he fought for PRIDE and it sounds like he is trying to put a lid on some of his demons and doing what he needs to do to get things straightened out. Hopefully he can get back to form and we can see him on a bigger stage before long.
(Remember the good old days when Filho’s crazy tattoos stayed below the neck?)
Bellator sent out a press release last night announcing that troubled Brazilian fighter Paulo Filho would be emerging from his top secret compound in Crazytown to take on current Bellator middleweight champ Hector Lombard on May 13th in a non-title superfight to be televised live on Fox Sports Net. Okay, so maybe we added the part about the Crazytown compound, but this is the same guy once seen communicating with the spirit world during a fight.
Filho, who has racked up a nice little three-fight win streak of late with victories over Melvin Manhoef and Alex Schoenauer, has seemed at times like a guy on the verge of getting his act together once again, only to later erase that perception by no-showing for events or getting a tattoo on his face. But a bout with Lombard, who seems promising even though he’s yet to beat a truly notable opponent? Now that’s a really intriguing fight right there.
(An impressive win over Semerzier could earn Fabiano a shot at 0-0 featherweight prospect Spencer Pratt. Photo courtesy of MMA Weekly.)
Unfortunately, not every fight can be as competitive as Tank Abbott vs. Butterbean. Two matchups came down the pipe yesterday that probably wouldn’t get approved if we were the ones holding the rubber stamps. First up…
— Wagnney Fabiano vs. Mackens Semerzier: Top-five featherweightFabiano was originally supposed to face Erik Koch at WEC 43 (October 10th, San Antonio), and even then we were like WTF, can this guy get an opponent that’s at least near the top 20? But Koch suffered an injury in training, and coming in to replace him on two weeks notice will be Mackens Semerzier, a 28-year-old U.S. Marine and Miguel Torres student who currently has an MMA record of 3-0; two of his opponents were making their pro debuts when he faced them, and the other had a record of 1-0. In other words, this is about as big a leap in competition as theoretically possible. Could Semerzier shock the world next month? No, absolutely not — his arms are going to end up where his legs used to be. On the bright side, maybe Fabiano can finally score a quick stoppage in the WEC and start earning the fan-respect that he deserves. And speaking of top-ten fighters being given sacrificial lambs…
— Due to recent accomplishments, Georges St. Pierre supplants Fedor Emelianenko as the #1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Over the last two years, GSP has taken out Josh Koscheck, Matt Hughes, Matt Serra, Jon Fitch, BJ Penn, and Thiago Alves. In the same time frame, Fedor has beaten Matt Lindland (middleweight), Hong Man Choi (freak), Tim Sylvia (fat slob), and Andrei Arlovski (glass chin).