It wasn’t the explosive finish that Hector Lombard had been hoping for, but nonetheless, it was a second-straight victory as a welterweight at UFC 171 against Jake Shields. Lombard completely nullified Shields’ submission game with his strong judo background and powerful striking to secure a unanimous decision victory in a key matchup in the 170-pound landscape.
“Lightning” came close to producing a first-round stoppage of Shields as he had the former Strikeforce middleweight champion wobbled and bloodied thanks to a series of hard punches. Shields managed to survive the onslaught and from then on, Lombard seemed content to secure takedowns against his opponent and ride out the clock from top position.
Lombard’s judo skills were on full display with a number of solid throws of his opponent as he tossed Shields around like a rag doll at times. The only area of criticism would be that Lombard seemed content to do just enough to get the win and played it a little too safe. While dominating the No. 6 Shields is no small feat, the performance from Lombard likely wasn’t enough to earn him the next shot at newly crowned welterweight champion Johny Hendricks.
The only dangerous moment for Lombard came in the fight’s final few seconds when Shields secured a guillotine choke, but he was able to weather the storm. The judges scored the bout 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 all in favour of Lombard who improved to 3-2 in his UFC tenure and 2-0 in the welterweight division. As for Shields, it was a difficult setback to endure at this stage of his career as he had been hoping another victory would inch him closer to one more title opportunity.
Lombard has failed to live up to the hype so far in his Octagon tenure, but it’s clear he has the skills to be highly competitive with the best that the 170-pound weight class has to offer. The move down from middleweight seems to have rejuvenated his career. He should be in line for another high-profile opportunity after ending Shields’ winning ways and picking up the 34th victory of his career.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports.