Sometimes, it’s better to be asked to the ball than not get to go at all.

That’s the case with UFC welterweight, Hector Lombard, who at long last finally has a dance partner for his next octagon appearance. His opponent: the newly resigned, Josh Burkman, most recently seen going on a 4-1 streak in the WSOF (his only loss was against Steve Carl, for the promotion’s welterweight title). The two will clash at UFC 182 in January, 2015.

Since being cut from the UFC in 2008 following three straight losses, Burkman is 9-2 overall between regionals and Ray Sefo’s World Series of Fighting. Not bad at all (you can read more about Burkman’s return here).

Still, taking on an unranked, debuting opponent would generally seem to be a step back for a fighter like Hector Lombard, formerly Bellator’s middleweight champion. Lombard came to the UFC riding a wave of hype that was quickly derailed after a debut split decision loss to Tim Boetsch at UFC 149 in July 2012. After a KO win over current WSOF champion, Rousimar Palhares, at a UFC event in Australia that December, Lombard lost again, this time to Yushin Okami. Lombard opted to drop a weight class, and found himself reborn at welterweight. There, he went 2-0, picking up wins over Nate Marquardt and Jake Shields before taking some time off due to injury.

However, in recent months Lombard resurfaced, this time looking for an opponent. UFC matchmakers tried to put Lombard in against Tyron Woodley, but Woodley reportedly declined the fight. According to UFC President, Dana White, Woodley “wanted no part” of the fight with “Showeather.” The two were teammates, but Lombard was in for the fight. Woodley, however, was not.

Lombard next set his sights on Matt “The Immortal” Brown, who was coming off a loss in a title eliminator to Robbie Lawler. While the UFC tends to match winners with winners and losers with losers, exceptions can and have been made, and prior to the Lawler loss, Brown had been on a seven fight win streak. Lombard took to Twitter to ask for the match, but was again thwarted.

Enter Burkman.

It’s a heck of a fight for a guy who hasn’t bought in the UFC in years, and a dangerous fight for Lombard. He’s expected to win, but a win does little to boost his prospects. That said, Burkman’s not exactly unknown, and Lombard simply needs a partner for the dance.

If Lombard, the clear favorite, wins, the UFC will be hard pressed to avoid finding the fighter, currently ranked sixth in the division, a more suitable dance partner next time out. Anything outside of the top five, and he might as well stay home.



About The Author

Senior Staff Writer

Covering the sport of MMA from Ontario, Canada, Jay Anderson has been writing for various publications covering sports, technology, and pop culture since 2001. Jay holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Guelph, and a Certificate in Leadership Skills from Humber College under the Ontario Management Development Program. When not slaving at the keyboard, he can be found in the company of his dog, a good book, or getting lost in the woods.

  • brett vroman

    Lombard will get beat by Burkman. Josh will use his intelligence and experience to adjust to Lombard quickly and then throw his own stuff in a way that catches his opponent off guard like he has recently in his big fights.

    • Nalin Shukla

      Intelligence and experience will go out the window as soon as he gets tagged..let’s be honest burkman volunteered to be meat for the lion..poor guy..

      I don’t even like Lombard

      • brett vroman

        What were you saying before Josh fought Fitch??? Be honest!

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