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04-24-2012, 04:03 PM
Location: Where I live? No I ask the questions here
Bellator champ Hector Lombard signs with UFC | MMAjunkie.com
Longtime Bellator champion Hector Lombard (31-2-1 MMA, 8-0 BFC) has officially signed with the UFC. |
The 185-pound standout today announced the news via Twitter.
UFC president Dana White had expressed interest in the Cuban-Australian fighter, who recently fulfilled the terms of his Bellator contract after an 8-0 stint in the organization that's part of an overall 24-0-1 run in his past 25 outings.
Lombard didn't disclosed a debut date or opponent, and UFC officials haven't formally announced his signing. However, Bellator was in a matching period with the fighter, and according to MMAFighting.com, Bellator CEO and Chairman declined to match a lucrative UFC deal that includes pay-per-view bonuses for Lombard. (Only the UFC's top talent gets such PPV deals.)
With Lombard vacating the title, Rebney recently told MMAjunkie.com (UFC blog for UFC news, UFC rumors, fighter interviews and event previews/recaps | MMAjunkie.com) No. 1 contender Alexander Shlemenko will fight the winner of the current season-six middleweight tournament for the belt.
The UFC nearly brought the 34-year-old Lombard into the fold in 2007, but visa issues halted the possible debut at UFC 78. He's since fought primarily for Bellator and regional promotions in Australia. With Bellator, he he won a season-one tournament, made one title defense, and also won four non-title fights after winning the belt.
While losing a top fighter such as Lombard is a hit for Bellator, the organization's business model doesn't allow it to truly capitalize on big-name talent. Instead, the tournament format and newly di such as Lombardinexpensive) regional and international talent are the star attractions.
Additionally, Bellator has struggled to find quality competition for highly ranked fights such as Lombard, and with the organization's move from the little-watched MTV2 to the bigger Spike TV delayed until 2013, most of their plans are geared toward the future, not the present.
There are many paths to freedom....not all are peaceful.
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