Fighting Championships middleweight titleholder Hector
Lombard announced Tuesday afternoon that he has officially
signed with the
Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Lombard revealed the news on Twitter and Sherdog.com confirmed the
information with a source close to the situation shortly
Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney told Sherdog last week that he and his
team had received a copy of the UFC’s offer to Lombard and would
decide soon whether to match the terms of that contract. Lombard’s
deal with Bellator expired earlier this year, and the fighter was
in the midst of a period wherein he could elicit offers from other
promotions. However, as Lombard was not an unrestricted free agent,
Bellator still held the right to match any offer and retain the
services of the muscular middleweight.
It is unknown when Lombard will make his UFC debut, though the
fighter has been out of the cage since Nov. 19, when he smashed
Prangley in a non-title affair at Bellator 58. A native of
Cuba, Lombard has not been defeated since 2006, his two career
losses coming to Gegard
Mousasi and Akihiro Gono
in the Pride ring.
Since his loss to Mousasi, Lombard has rattled off 24 wins in 25
outings, with a 2007 draw to Kyle Noke
marking the middleweight’s only blemish in that span. The
34-year-old joined Bellator in 2009, winning the promotion’s
inaugural middleweight championship and successfully defending it
the following year against Season 2 tournament winner Alexander
Shlemenko. The American Top Team export ends his Bellator
career with a perfect promotional record, having posted eight wins
during his three years with the organization.