Perhaps the biggest disappointment from UFC 149 was the debut of Hector Lombard. We’ve been teased with Hector’s UFC debut for years now and his signing was hyped up as one of the biggest arrivals you’d see in the UFC this year. Alas, instead of tearing Tim Boetsch’s head off and shitting down his neckhole, he did absolutely nothing for three rounds. That left everyone scratching their heads, and rather than just accepting that sometimes athletes have garbage performances, people keep asking not just what went wrong but how Lombard can be fixed.
“You can’t be angry with (Lombard), but it just shows you guys, ranking guys who don’t fight in the UFC, it’s two different worlds. Guys that fight in other organizations that end up in the Top 10 rankings, it’s a whole other world over here. Lombard, maybe should fight at 170. He made 185 easily. He’s short and wide, but I think he could make 170,” said White at the post-event press conference attached to this past weekend’s event.
Lo and behold, the next day guess what headline shows up on the UFC.com blog? LOMBARD SHOULD DROP TO WELTERWEIGHT. Good going, UFC blogger guy. It’s never a bad idea to just take stuff your boss says and turn it into an article. Hell, that’s what half the MMA blogosphere does already, and they aren’t even being paid by Dana for it.
At 5’9, Lombard is one of the shortest middleweights in the promotion. In fact, he would be a relatively short welterweight. I look to former UFC star Phil Baroni as a comparison. Baroni was a massively muscled middleweight with a welterweight’s frame (or maybe even lightweight, if we’re talking solely on height and reach). That is Lombard in a nutshell.
If Lombard can cut to 170 pounds without adversely impacting his strength and explosiveness, he could be an absolute savage in the welterweight division. If I were a betting man, and I just so happen to be one, I’d bet that he could easily make the welterweight limit with just a few tweaks to his training camp diet. He looked extremely thick with full, round muscles and a full face at the weigh-ins. Contrast that to Faber, who looked like he had squeezed every safe ounce of water out of his system for the weigh-ins before adding back nearly 18 pounds in the 30 hours leading up to fight time. Lombard can do the same thing.
In other words, how about you pull a Cris Cyborg, lay off the ‘horse meat’, and let your body slide down into a more ‘natural’ weightclass? Unfortunately, this genius plan everyone is currently fielding doesn’t really address why Hector Lombard failed so spectacularly in his UFC debut. It’s not like he was the explosive juggernaut everyone hyped him up to be until Boetsch used his extra size to lean and lie all over him for 15 minutes. Lombard stalled out all by himself, simply by refusing to engage. That’ll earn you a loss regardless of what weightclass you’re in.
Even Lombard himself has had to take the unusual action of defending himself by admitting his performance wasn’t that great: