After his much-anticipated arrival in the UFC middleweight division provided mixed results, Hector Lombard is officially dropping a weight class.
Lombard (32-4-1 MMA, 1-2 UFC) today confirmed the move to welterweight via Twitter. Additionally, FUEL TV’s “UFC Tonight” confirmed the move on Tuesday, with reporter Ariel Helwani reporting Lombard is interested in a fight with Nate Marquardt (32-12-2 MMA, 10-5 UFC).
UFC officials haven’t confirmed a date or an opponent for the former Bellator champion’s next bout.
Lombard, who’s ranked No. 12 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie.com MMA middleweight rankings, joined the UFC in 2012 on the strength of a 25-fight unbeaten streak (24-0-1). The run saw the Olympic judoka win Bellator’s inaugural middleweight tournament and make a lone title defense over Alexander Shlemenko.
However, in his UFC debut, Lombard looked flat in suffering a split-decision defeat to Tim Boetsch (though most media outlets scored the fight for Lombard). He rebounded with a first-round knockout of Rousimar Palhares, but in his most recent bout, Lombard dropped a split decision to perennial contender Yushin Okami at UFC on FUEL TV 8 back in March.
Marquardt, who’s also a former middleweight, is a former Strikeforce champion who returned to the organization in March. However, he suffered a knockout loss to Jake Ellenberger at UFC 158, which marked the first back-to-back losses of his career.
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