07-13-2010, 08:19 PM
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| | Hector Lombard meets NFL vet "Whisper" Goodman in Bellator 24 non-title fight
Hector Lombard meets NFL vet "Whisper" Goodman in Bellator 24 non-title fight | MMAjunkie.com
Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard (25-2-1 MMA, 4-0 BFC) will whet his appetite prior to a late-season title defense when he meets Herbert "Whisper" Goodman (15-8 MMA, 0-0 BFC) in a non-title bout at Bellator 24. |
Sources close to the event today confirmed the fight with MMAjunkie.com (UFC blog for UFC news, UFC rumors, fighter interviews and event previews/recaps | MMAjunkie.com) and said verbal agreements are in place and at least one fighter has signed for the bout.
Bellator 24 takes place Aug. 12 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla., and marks the kick-off of the promotion's third season.
A separate source close to the promotion added that Lombard will meet Alexander Shlemenko, Bellator's season-two middleweight tournament winner, at a later point in season three. As expected, that meeting will be a title fight with Lombard's belt up for grabs.
Lombard, a Cuban native with strong judo roots, didn't get much cage time in his most recent fight. After a scheduled bout with former WEC champion Paulo Filho fell apart, he took on Jay Silva at Bellator 18 and blasted the former UFC fighter unconscious in six seconds. It was his first Bellator bout since the promotion's first season, in which he took the promotion's middleweight crown by winning its inaugural eight-man tournament.
Lombard fought outside the Bellator cage during his layoff and racked up three more wins against UFC veteran Kalib Starnes, Joey Gorczynski and WEC vet Art Santore.
The champion has not lost a fight since November 2006, when former Strikeforce and DREAM champion Gegard Mousasi bested him on points at PRIDE Bushido 13, though he fought "The Ultimate Fighter 11" veteran Kyle Noke to a draw eight months later in Australia.
Thirteen of Lombard's 25 victories come by way of stoppage due to strikes.
Goodman, a former running back for the NFL's Green Bay Packers, is one month removed from a decision loss to Jason Norwood in a regional Midwest show, though he defeated "The Ultimate Fighter 7" veteran Dante Rivera prior to the setback. He also owns a notable victory over UFC veteran Jordan Radev in March 2009.
Goodman's fight with Lombard will serve as his Bellator debut.
Bellator, which airs its shows live on FOX Sports Net, recently concluded its second season. The fast-rising organization launched eight-man tourneys in the featherweight, lightweight, welterweight and middleweight tournaments in both of its seasons to date. But season three features men's bantamweight and heavyweight tournaments and a women's 115-pound tourney. Each winner will also be crowned a Bellator champ.
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