Each day, The MMA Corner will provide a recap of results, event announcements, fight matchups, and injuries/cancellations from throughout the world of MMA.
Earlier this year, Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard’s contract expired. Currently, Lombard is not an unrestricted free agent, which means that Bellator has the right to match any offer from a competing promotion.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Cuban-born fighter is being sought after by the UFC, as he has won 20 straight fights and has not lost since a 2006 Pride FC bout against Gegard Mousasi. In his time with Bellator, he has gone 8-0 with seven finishes, including being the only man to hold the middleweight championship.
Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney has confirmed that his people are in possession of the contract that has been offered to Lombard, and says that he would like to try to hammer this situation out sooner rather than later out of respect to his fighter. For now, Rebney says his focus will be on tomorrow night’s event, Bellator 66, but he said that as soon as the event is over, “we will sit down with our partners and go through the UFC contract line-for-line and make a strategic decision whether we’re going to match it or pass. [If we choose not to resign, we will] wish him the best and let him go knock out everybody in the UFC.”
In one of the more anticipated Bellator events in a long time, the fighters showed up on weight and ready to go. The main event for tomorrow night’s Bellator 66 is a rematch between Shinya Aoki and Eddie Alvarez. Aoki tapped Alvarez out with a heel hook in the second minute of their 2008 fight. The other televised fights on the night will be the lightweight semi-finals and the middleweight semi-finals. One thing that stood out is that even though lightweights Tyler Combs and Jason Dent are listed on the fight card at Bellator.com, neither fighter stepped onto the stage to tip the scales.
Preliminary Card (Spike.com)
- Lightweight: Julian Lane (155) vs. Joe Heiland (155)
- Featherweight: Donny Walker (144) vs. Frank Caraballo (145)
- Light Heavyweight: Dan Spohn (204) vs. Attila Vegh (200)
- Light Heavyweight: John Hawk (203.5) vs. Marcus Vanttinen (205)
- Women’s 131-pound catchweight: Jessica Eye (130) vs. Anita Rodriguez (130.5)
Main Card (MTV 2 and Epix HD)
- Season Six Lightweight Semi-Final: Brent Weedman (155) vs. Thiago Michel (154.5)
- Season Six Lightweight Semi-Final: Lloyd Woodard (154) vs. Rick Hawn (155)
- Season Six Middleweight Semi-Final: Vyacheslav Vasilevsky (185.5) vs. Maiquel Falcao (185)
- Season Six Middleweight Semi-Final: Andreas Sprang (185) vs. Brian Rodgers (185)
- Lightweight: Eddie Alvarez (154.5) vs. Shinya Aoki (154.5)
Bellator 66 takes place at the I-X Center in Cleveland tomorrow night. The action starts at 7 p.m. ET on Spike.com and continues at 8 p.m. ET on MTV2 and Epix HD.
The UFC’s welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre has been away from action since December after the champion tore his ACL leading up to his fight against Carlos Condit at UFC 143. The last time we saw St-Pierre inside the Octagon, he defeated Jake Shields by unanimous decision at UFC 129 on April 30, 2011. While the Canadian fighter has been on the shelf, Carlos Condit defeated Nick Diaz for the interim welterweight title and the world of MMA wants to know when “Rush” will return to action to unify the titles.
The welterweight champion said today that he is feeling good and is two months away from returning to training. He said that he is currently taking it easy and letting his knee heal rather than rushing back to training too quickly.
The New York State Senate has voted in favor of a bill that would authorize the New York State Athletic Commission to allow Mixed Martial Arts matches and exhibitions to take place in the Empire State. The bill won by a vote of 43-14, and it was the third straight year that a bill legalizing MMA in New York had been passed in the State’s Senate. In order for a bill to pass into legislature, it needs to be passed by both the Senate and the Assembly.
A decision will be made by mid-June because that is when the state’s legislative session ends for the calender year.
Photo: Hector Lombard (William Musacchia/Sherdog)