When Hector Lombard steps into the ring on Saturday, it will be his fourth time doing so inside the Octagon since signing with the UFC over a year ago. Since then his record stands at 1-2 in the organization. He dropped two split decisions to Tim Boetsch and Yushin Okami, with his lone victory coming against Rousimar Palhares.
Coming into the UFC, Lombard was one of the most talked-about fighters outside the organization. He won 25 of 26 fights. He had one draw to Kyle Noke. One watching him inside the Bellator cage would have thought he was unstoppable.
Hardcore fans saw Lombard as a fake, claiming the Cuban was fighting nothing but “tomato cans” to pad his outstanding record. Many believed he would not last inside the octagon against “real talent.” Some of those statements appeared to be true as he lost in his much-awaited octagon debut against Boetsch in what was a boring fight. He redeemed himself against Palhares, but then lost to Okami, which is nothing to be ashamed of.
Now seven months removed from his last fight, Lombard is looking to reestablish himself in a new weight class. There are many questions Lombard must answer when he squares off against Marquardt.
Will he be able to maintain his speed? How about his strength? Will he be released if he loses?
Answering these questions against a well-rounded fighter in Marquardt won’t be easy, but if he wins the fight, Lombard will take one small step to being relevant in MMA once again.