If all goes according to plan top-10 welterweights Dong Hyun Kim and Hector Lombard will square off in August at a UFC event in China. Lombard had been linked to a possible matchup against Nick Diaz that failed to materialize and had taken to social media earlier this week in the hopes of landing a fight against Matt Brown. Lombard stated he wasn’t impressed by “The Immortal”’s current seven-fight win streak. However, according to UFC Tonight, the promotion is moving in another direction with the Kim-Lombard matchup targeted for Aug. 23 in Macau.
Lombard has made quite an impression since making the move down to the 170-pound landscape and is fresh off a dominant decision win over Jake Shields at UFC 171. The former Bellator middleweight champion has reeled off two straight victories after a lackluster beginning to his UFC tenure while campaigning in the 185-pound weight class. “Lightning” has tremendous power with 19 knockouts to his credit and a stellar judo background. The victories over Shields and Nate Marquardt have elevated Lombard to his current No. 7 ranking.
As for Kim, this matchup would mark his second straight fight in China. The No. 9 ranked “Stun Gun” turned in a highlight-reel spinning back elbow stoppage of John Hathaway at the TUF China finale in March. It earned him a Performance of the Night bonus and remains one of the more impressive finishes of 2014 so far. It was Kim’s second straight explosive effort as he finished Erick Silva in stunning fashion with a one-punch knockout at Fight Night 29 in Brazil.
The South Korean is one of the most impressive grapplers in the game, and his strength would be comparable to what the powerful Lombard brings to the table. Kim has a solid career record of a 19-2-1 and is in the midst of a four-fight win streak. His only career losses have come against Demian Maia and former interim champion Carlos Condit.
This shapes up as an excellent matchup between two fighters who have been delivering impressive performances in a stacked division. The winner will realistically be just another win or two away from a potential title opportunity.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports