Even though Hector Lombard has been scheduled to fight Yushin Okami—a man no one should underestimate—he can’t seem to stop talking about how badly he wants to fight Michael Bisping.
During his time on The MMA Hour, when talking about Bisping, Lombard said: “I’m really trying to push this fight because I’m not sure it’s going to happen.”
Their dislike for each other began when Lombard was signed and talk began to circulate that should he win his first fight under the Zuffa banner, he would get a title shot.
This, of course, prompted Bisping to take some shots at Lombard, and the back-and-forth between them began.
We’ve seen fighters campaign to make fights in the past and it’s always a good thing if they are willing to drum up some interest; god knows it makes Joe Silva’s job easier if there is already some demand for said fights.
Perhaps it’s the new wave of fight promotion, but I can’t seem to shake the notion that it’s a bad idea to be looking at potential fighters too far ahead of time when your next opponent is working hard in the gym to take your head off.
Stylistically, they both look about even in the grappling department and from there, one could say that Lombard has the heavier hands, so perhaps he expects that his fight with Okami will turn into a brawl and from there his punching power will carry the day.
But nothing is a given in this sport; Lombard was lackluster in his debut and ended up losing to Tim Boetsch in a fight he could have and probably should have won via some kind of finish.
Against Okami, he’ll be facing a tenacious grappler who’s going to be coming into their bout with good conditioning and a grinder’s mentality.
If Lombard doesn’t get the finish by the middle of Round 2, has he focused on his training enough to pick up the pace? Or will he prove that his attention was really on other things and grow tired and slow-footed and allow Okami to outwork him for a decision victory?
Lombard came into the UFC with a great deal of hype and much of that died when Tim Boetsch got his hand raised. Since then, he’s disposed of one opponent (in great fashion) and done a lot of talking.
Getting the public invested in a bad-blood feud has proven to be one way to lead the UFC matchmakers in the direction they want to go, but none of that means anything until you finish the meal that’s in front of you.