In a surprising bout that had an unsurprising result, Hector Lombard closed out Bellator's third season by defending his Bellator middleweight belt. He took it with a 49-46 win on all three judges cards over Alexander Shlemenko. After hearing the decision, Lombard called out Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza.
As he is known to do, Lombard started with a huge storm of punches in the first round. Lombard landed punch after punch, but Shlemenko still managed to survive. As the fight wore on, Lombard turned to the takedown. Early in the bout, Lombard used the takedown to set up ground and pound, but he slowed down.
Lombard's other two Bellator fights this season lasted a total of 42 seconds. He seemed unprepared for a fight that went past the first round, and spent much of the bout holding Shlemenko down on the ground while not causing much damage. Twice, Lombard had Shlemenko's back, but didn't actually sink in a rear naked choke or use it to ground and pound.
The two were stood up several times, usually after Shlemenko gave a pleading look to referee Troy Waugh. When they were back on their feet, Shlemenko tried to use spinning fists and kicks, but Lombard saw them coming and defended well.
Lombard is now the second Bellator fighter to try to get a bout with a Strikeforce fighter after winning a belt. Lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez is campaigning for a bout with Strikeforce's lightweight champ, Gilbert Melendez.