At long last, UFC welterweight Hector Lombard has his dance partner, and the big night is just days away. It took a while to get to this point. Months back, it seemed as if no one wanted to fight the Cuban-Australian, and who could blame them? Lombard has lightning in his hands, even if “Lightning” is no longer his nickname.  He’s not an easy mountain to climb, especially having dropped down from middleweight. Lombard is 2-0 in the division and looking to go on a title run sooner rather than later. Problem is, with such a hard time finding an opponent, Lombard is stuck in limbo: he’s the clear favorite against Josh Burkman at UFC 182, and gains little from the expected win. Burkman is unranked, Lombard is ranked sixth.

The former Bellator champion is clearly not happy with the situation, but at least he has someone to step into the octagon with — besides, Josh Burkman is no slouch, and does have a name UFC fans will recognize. He also went 4-1 in the World Series of Fighting, losing only to Steve Carl for the promotion’s welterweight title.

With that in mind, Burkman is dangerous and has a chance to upset here. He’s been in the game over a decade, competed on The Ultimate Fighter Season 2 for Team Hughes, and has fought in the octagon ten times in the past, with the last coming at UFC 90. Though its been a while, he’s a been there, done that kind of guy.

What does Hector Lombard need to do to win?

Keep A Consistent Pace, Avoid Draining the Gas Tank In a Blitzkrieg

If the stoppage is there to be had, fine — by all means take it. However, in 37 professional fights, Josh Burkman has exactly zero losses by way of knockout or technical knockout. Zero. Zilch. Nada. He has been caught in the odd submission, or makes it to a decision, that seems to be the standard. That’s not to say that a guy with Lombard’s strength couldn’t knock him out, but Lombard does need to be prepared to go the full distance. His cardio must be on point, and with weight cuts, that’s always a concern. This will mark Lombard’s third fight at welterweight, however, and he picked up a three round decision over Jake Shields in his last outing.

What Lombard doesn’t want to do is go into berserker mode, swarm with punches, and drain his gas tank early. That could spell disaster.

Learn From, and Improve On, the Past

Speaking of the Shields fight, that would be a good fight to emulate, in the sense that it was a three-round decision that was pretty lopsided in Lombard’s favor. What Hector Lombard doesn’t want, what he must strive to avoid, is a repeat of his Boetsch or Okami fights, close split decisions that went against him. He needs to control the action, not sit back and hope to connect and put his opponent to sleep.

Use That Slick, Sick Judo Game

One thing we definitely learned from the Shields fight is that Lombard still has a sick Judo game and is capable of some slick takedowns and throws. Which is exactly what he should be looking to use against Burkman, followed by some strong top control and ground and pound. He will need to avoid the submission game of Burkman, as he did with Shields, but if he can do that, improve on past performances, and not punch himself out looking for a knockout, he should have all the keys to victory he needs.

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.

  • JL

    Id add, not takin Burkman as what it seems so much to be: a step. This is after all the ufc and overconfidence can knock u out just as easily. Lombard should maintain his concentration for every fight.