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Bellator and their resident middleweight champ/can-smasher extraordinaire Hector Lombard have been in contract negotiations for a few months now, and it didn’t take a genius to see that he might have been stalling in order to jump to the UFC.  The writing was on the wall two weeks ago when Bellator admitted that Zuffa had indeed made him an offer, and they were sitting down to determine if they could afford to match it.  Surprise surprise, they couldn’t, as confirmed by Dana White’s publicist (aka Twitter) last Friday.

So who will welcome Lombard to the big leagues?  Looks like his days of running the cannery are over, as the UFC announced yesterday that he will face Brian Stann “this August in Los Angeles”, which likely means UFC On Fox 4 on August 4th.  Lombard is riding an incredible 25-fight unbeaten streak that stretches all the way back to 2006, but when the last decent name on that list is Brian Ebersole nearly four years ago, it goes without saying that Stann represents a huge step up in competition for a guy used to destroying journeymen in the B-leagues.  And before you go thinking “here comes another Overeem”, Lombard is actually asking for a random drug test to prove it’s all just spinach and horsemeat, so let’s hope he understands what “random” means.

As for that belt he leaves behind, Rebney says the ever-patient Alexander Shlemenko will face the winner of the Andreas Spang vs Maiquel “Psycho” Falcao tournament finals to crown the new champ.