With the UFC returning to Australia with UFC on FX 6 on December 14, the promotion is beginning to announce upcoming bouts. While the organization hasn’t announced a venue for said return yet, the card will be headlined by Hector Lombard attempting to redeem himself after his promotional debut at UFC 149, a completely forgettable three round sleeper against Tim Boetsch. The Cuban-born Australian has been given a second chance against none other than Brazilian leg lock specialist Rousimar Palhares. In other words, he isn’t exactly being given a rebound fight.
We all know about the lofty expectations that Hector Lombard carried into the UFC as a Bellator middleweight champion who hasn’t lost in twenty five fights. While Lombard claims that he was too injured to have been fighting during his UFC 149 clash against Tim Boetsch, many fans were quick to jump off of the Lombard bandwagon after that performance. A loss to perennial almost-contender Rousimar Palhares – especially a boring loss to Paul Harris, if that’s possible – could be enough to send Lombard back to Bellator. Likewise, Palhares has built an impressive 7-3 record in the UFC, yet has choked in the fights that would separate him from the pack and potentially earn him a title shot. If Toquinho can’t secure one of Lombard’s legs, he may be permanently relegated to gatekeeper status. Not exactly a great spot for either guy to be in.
Also, UFC on FX 6 will feature the finals of The Ultimate Fighter: Smashes, including the fight between TUF: Smashes coaches George Sotiropoulos and Ross Pearson. You guys remember Smashes, right? British fighters squaring off against Aussies? The answer to the TUF ratings woes? An opportunity for comments sections across the internet to rant about cockiness and make “That’s not a _____, THIS is a _____!” jokes? Well, you have three months to get familiar with it.
In other booking news…
- UFC 154, which takes place in Montreal, Canada, will feature a lightweight bout between Canadians Sam Stout and John Makdessi (In professional wrestling, this is known as a hometown pop). Stout is coming off of a unanimous decision victory over Spencer Fisher at UFC on FX 3, which earned Fight of the Night honors. Makdessi, meanwhile, is riding a two fight losing streak. His most recent loss was a unanimous decision against Anthony Njokuani at UFC 145, which was held at a catchweight of 158 pounds because Makdessi missed weight. Don’t expect him to remain employed by the UFC if he drops this contest.
- Yesterday, we announced that Swedish kickboxing legend Jorgen Kruth had retired from competition, despite being one month away from his UFC debut at UFC on FUEL 5. His original opponent, Fabio Maldonado, will now fight Cyrille Diabate. Presumably because asking Maldonado to fight a completely different striker with less than one month to prepare for him would be the dumbest idea ever, the UFC has decided to shift this bout to UFC 154 as well. Diabate is coming off of a majority decision victory over Tom DeBlass at UFC on FUEL 2.
So, who ya got?