Last night, at the UFC 166 card held in Texas, newly minted welterweight Hector Lombard took out Nate Marquardt in resounding fashion. Lombard, who has campaigned his entire career as a Middleweight or even higher, looked strong and fast at 170 lbs. As for Nate ‘The Great’, his UFC days are probably over, as this is his third loss in a row overall and second loss in a row by KO in the first round. Lombard looked rejuvenated, and he will want to stay active and he will be looking for a title shot. What should the UFC do with the impressive Cuban stand out?
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Before any real predictions can be made in the UFC’s welterweight division, we must wait on the Georges St Pierre – Johnny Hendricks match at UFC 167. The fact is that Hendricks is a threat to GSP, and should he beat GSP, you can look for th eUFC to try to set up a rematch for the long time champ. This would leave the other contenders in the division circling as Hendricks and GSP duel.
But if GSP wins, or Hendricks wins and GSP retires, then who would be next for the champion?
Lombard’s name is in the mix, but he will need at least one other victory in the division to really be considered. Both Rory McDonald and Jake Ellenberger are young guns in the weight class, and both are booked for fights (McDonald faces Robbie Lawler, Ellenberger gets Tarec Saffiedine) and either man would make an interesting match against Lombard.
Another interesting possibility for Lombard is Carlos Condit, who is booked to face Matt Browne in December. Condit is probably the number 2 guy in the weight class, but he lost in his title bid and he just needs to keep on winning. Lombard needs a scalp like Condit’s on his UFC resume to justify a title shot.
The point with Lombard is that he was impressive and explosive, but he is 35 years old and he cannot be expected to keep that level f athleticism as he ages. Lombard was a high profile signing from Bellator, and in roughing him up at Middleweight, the UFC proved they are light years ahead of Bellator when it comes to talent, as Lombard was completely dominant there. Still, he is a great athlete, and at 170 lbs is a threat, it is just a matter of getting him in the mix as soon as possible before his age starts to show.