The UFC 171 card is headlined by the welterweight title fight between Johnny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler, and that match is supported by several relevant welterweight matchups, not the least of which is the match-up between Jake Shields and Hector Lombard. Both men are in their mid to late 30s and both are looking to impress after lackluster runs in the UFC, so both have reasons to try and take this match in impressive fashion. Shields has the added incentive that he is nearing the end of his contract, and after several flat performances, he needs a stoppage win or faces a low ball offer for his next UFC contract.
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Shields went 1-2 in his first trio of UFC fights, and he looked flat doing it. He has since pulled off 4 wins in a row, even though none of them has been a real highlight reel performance, but he faces a contract renewal and is talking title shot with an impressive performance. The only time he has not gone the distance in the UFC is when Jake Shields ran him over, other than that he has gone to the judges every time, and holds 3 split decision wins. Expecting a big finish now after that history is a bit too much to ask.
For Lombard, he was impressive in his first outing at 170 lbs, flattening Nate Marquardt and looking strong and unaffected by the weight cut. Lombard was a former Bellator champion at 185 lbs, and he stubbornly stuck at that weight through several flat UFC performances and going 1-2. Lombard has shown the ability to finish in the UFC, and at 170 lbs he is powerful.
This match has 3 round stalemate written all over it, as both men have a reputation for sturdiness and have shown that they can fall back and play it safe when met with a tough opponent. Though Lombard is the more likely of the two to finish the fight, Shields is not easy to finish.
Neither man is likely to wind up with an immediate title shot with a win, unless it is by spectacular or unique fashion.