Hard-hitting knockout artist Hector Lombard has gotten his wish to tangle with veteran Jake Shields in his next UFC fight. The important welterweight clash is the latest addition to UFC 171 on Mar. 15 in Dallas. Shields has recorded back-to-back victories over Tyron Woodley and most-recently Demian Maia to solidify his standing as the No. 7 ranked 170 pound fighter in the UFC.
Lombard rejuvenated his career in solid fashion by knocking out Nate Marquardt in his welterweight debut at UFC 166. The win leveled his UFC record at 2-2 after a disappointing run at middleweight that included losses to Tim Boetsch and Yushin Okami. Lombard is a brutal finisher with 19 career knockouts, many of them coming in the very first round. He has 26 of his 33 victories by either knockout or submission, and will be hoping to add Shields to his list of victims.
“Lightning” entered the UFC with plenty of hype stemming from his devastating ways in Bellator, but had been a massive bust up until the performance against Marquardt. If he is able to deliver another impressive performance against Shields, it would set Lombard up for further important future fights in the stacked welterweight division.
The matchup is as widely diverse as a styles pairing could be. Shields relies on his strong grappling and submission skills. He has been a successful grinding performer, with 16 career victories by decision. He has recorded 10 submission wins thanks to his jiu-jitsu prowess, and has a tendency to be able to shut down the offense of powerful punchers like we saw in the Woodley bout at UFC 161. Shields has only been knocked out twice in his career, although one of them did come in the Octagon at the hands of Jake Ellenberger.
Lombard had stated that he felt, given the current landscape, that Shields was the best option for him. He believes his strength and impressive judo background will be able to keep the fight standing and can lure what he terms the “boring” Shields into an exciting fight. We will find out on Mar. 15; one thing we know for sure is that there will be plenty at stake for both fighters.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports.