After going 1-2 in his first three UFC fights at Middleweight, Hector Lombard is heading to the Welterweight division. It would seem like a wise move for the Cuban fighter, who has heard the call to drop a weight class periodically throughout his career; however because of his strength and explosiveness he has always felt comfortable and looked great at Middleweight. He piled up an impressive 31-2 record and came to the UFC as a relatively high profile signing, but doubling his career losses is not what he had in mind. Well, he can go back to being cocky and arrogant, because he is a stud if all goes well as he cuts to 170 lbs. There are a few potential pit falls for Lombard. He looks muscle bound at 185 lbs and a diet and supplement change to things that add less muscle is all it should take. Seeing him next to Okami and Boetsch, he has the stature of a welterweight. But, he has been fighting at 185 lbs for a long time, and he is entering his late 30’s (he is 35 right now). Until he makes the weight, and then fights well at that weight without getting tired or lethargic, we won’t know that those trouble spots won’t come up for Lombard. But we will find out soon enough. It is a loaded weight division, and because he is coming down in weight class, there is no reason to not match him up as tough as possible right away. He could be matched up with another fighter who saw success outside the UFC at Middleweight, but was smart enough to come back at welterweight – Robbie Lawler. Lawler proved he was back and focused by making short work of veteran Josh Koscheck. It would be an interesting match, and one that would likely see Lombard favored in the fight, so keep an eye on Lawlor as a very live underdog. Demien Maia is another fighter who competed and fought for the title at 185 lbs, and he would be another interesting matchup against Lombard. Maia is a Jiu Jitsu wiz, but it is not going to be easy to take Lombard down at 170 lbs. Then there is the winner of July’s Rory MacDonald-Jake Ellenberger match. Both young guns are probably another win away after that from a title shot, and Lombard would put a very skilled, very hungry veteran in front of them, making for an intriguing fight. It is hard to predict a line for that fight, however if Ellenberger or MacDonald win big in July, it would probably lead them to be favored against Lombard. It is an interesting spot for Lombard – to face another athletically gifted fighter who is 10 years younger. A win would surely prove that Lombard belongs at the top of the division. Lombard’s move to Welterweight adds another top talent to an already crowded division. Face it, a title shot for Lombard at Middleweight was not going to materialize, but at welterweight, he has a much better chance of at least making an impact.
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