For years, middleweight fighter, Hector Lombard has been considered by many to be the face of Bellator Fighting Championships. With an 8-0 record in the promotion, the talented native of Queensland, Australia, has been the most successful fighter to compete under their banner. He has gone unbeaten in his last 24 fights (23-0-1) and has been thrown into the conversation of the best middleweights in the sport. He will now have a chance to prove that acclaim, signing a contract to join the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The UFC is home to the absolute best middleweights in the world, including the greatest mixed martial artists to ever compete, Anderson Silva. The UFC division also features some of the most talented fighters in the weight class, including Chael Sonnen, Mark Munoz, Michael Bisping, Yushin Okami and Tim Boetsch.
During his current streak, Lombard has beaten some talented fighters including Jay Silva, Brian Ebersole and James Te Huna, but he hasn't beaten anyone with the talent of the top UFC fighters. Some feel that his height will be a problem, as he stands just five-feet, nine-inches, and while I think that will be an issue if he fights someone like Silva, Bisping or Brian Stann, the fact that he has been beating guys like Trevor Prangley, who could never even smell the UFC from where he stands in his career right now, is what troubles me the most.
The way he dominated fighters during his time in Bellator won't come as easy in the UFC. His physique may be the same as heavyweight Alistair Overeem, and while Overeem showed what he could do against one of the best in his division when he ended Brock Lesnar's MMA career, Lombard won't have it as easy. Overeem has been competing against the best fighters throughout his entire career, making the transition to the UFC easier. The best fighters Lombard ever faced were Gegard Mousasi and Akihiro Gono, which accounted for the only two losses of his career.
The reason why fighters fight is to show what they got and Lombard has been doing that his entire career. It doesn't matter what competition he faced before; all that matters now is who he will be fighting inside the Octagon.
For a look at the best fights for some of the most popular fighters in the UFC and 2011 division recaps, go here.
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Hobson Lopes has been a fan of mixed martial arts since the days of Tank Abbott and can be followed on Twitter @HobsonLopes.
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