Watching the co main-event of this past weekend's UFC 149, it's fair assume that the majority who watched had the same question on their mind: who was that and what did he do with the real Hector Lombard?
One of the more anticipated debuts in recent UFC history turned into a giant bust in record time.
Right from the beginning, Lombard was not the fierce, combative fighter that made a name for himself in Bellator and Cage Fighting Championship. He was inactive and not willing to engage, instead choosing to pick his openings and finding none.
This played right into Tim Boetsch's hand. Boetsch isn't known to be the most exciting fighter and many of his fights have been dull. But this past Saturday, Boetsch was in complete control of things and that in itself guaranteed that people would get a slow fight. Boetsch isn't a fighter who is going to go all-out every moment because he isn't a fighter that possesses exceptional speed. What Boetsch has is his hands and the damage he can dish out with them.
The fight ended up being almost intolerably boring at times with Boetsch dishing out bits of offense and Lombard giving the impression at times that he didn't even wanted to fight.
Lombard's performance was truly a head-scratcher. People may have their theories or explanations for why Lombard fought the way he did against Boetsch, but they're all irrelevant. Lombard wasn't injured before or during the fight, so it would seem that anything truly effecting Lombard going into the fight or during the fight (if anything) was likely mental. And even that would probably fail to fully explain why the Hector Lombard that stepped into the cage for UFC this past weekend was the polar opposite of the Hector Lombard that's stepped into the cage or ring anywhere else; it's not simply because he was fighting in UFC.
Needless to say, Lombard will have a lot to make up the next time he steps into the cage for UFC. With the hype and expectation that surrounded this fight, people (including this writer) were really expecting something big out of Lombard. A move down to welterweight could be what the doctor ordered for Lombard who may have an easier time using his bulk and power to his advantage, should that bulk still be there after a drop in weight. Still, the Boetsch fight didn't provide definitive evidence that Lombard should even drop in weight. In the end, it'll be up to the fighter and his camp to make the decision regarding what weight Lombard fights at.
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