Much of the fallout from the UFC’s debut in Cagary, Canada last night is about the disappointment of most of the main PPV portion of the card. Perhaps none of the performances was more of a let down than the UFC debut of former Bellator champion Hector Lombard. Lombard lost a split decision to Tim Boetsch in a fight that could be called ‘methodical’ just to not say plain old boring. Where does this leave Lombard, who faced high expectations heading into the UFC?
First, not to discredit Lombard, but this was ample proof that the UFC athletes are at this point, a different level than you will find outside of the UFC.
The first thing that was apparent based on stature and muscle mass, is that Lombard belongs at 170 lbs. Granted, Boetsch fought at 205 lbs and is generally a big, bulky wrestler, but Lombard looked small. But Lombard in against Sonnen, Okami or Bisping, the top echelon in the Middleweight division, and he will quickly be 0-2 and gone from the UFC to the Kimbo Slice circuit.
Lonbard also didnt have much of a gameplan. Boetsch did a good job of managing his distance, and Lombard spent a lot of time trying to chase him down. Lombard lacked explosion.
One judge saw the fight for Lombard, and frankly, it was a very close fight. Lombard seemed to land more of the very few effective punches and perhaps some points could be given to a solid taken he caught Boetsch with. Even if you thought Lombard won, there was little in what we saw that will worry champion Anderson Silva.
Lombard needs to make a very serious reassessment and drop down to the 170 lb weight category. That weight class is also stacked with a lot of talent, but Lombard will not be giving up the size advantage he gave up to Boetsch.
ANd Lombard seems like a hard worker, who wants to fight often. So drop him in weight and start him at the bottom, with no expectations. Have him fight veteran Yoshihiro Akiyama. Akiyama is an Olympic level Judoka who is on a four fight losing streak in the UFC. Known as a rugged competitor, the matchup is perfect to get Lombard’s feet wet.
If you consider Lombard an asset, bring him along like one. Because after losing to Tim Boetsch, it is back to the drawing board for Hector Lombard.