Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard is considered by many to be one of the most sterling fighters on that promotion’s roster — one who could do very well in the UFC.
That’s why it’s so interesting that the 31-2-1 Cuban expat’s Bellator contract has expired, freeing him up to negotiate with the world’s biggest and most talent-rich MMA promotion. The prospects of Lombard fighting in the UFC are exciting and, while he knows it’s a strong possibility he’ll see his champion vacating the title, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney recently told MMAJunkie that he’s hoping to hold on to Lombard through these negotiations.
“I think he’s the best middleweight in the world,” said Rebney. “We’re trying to work dynamics with him (and) see if we can put a deal together. If we can’t put a deal together, he’ll be able to go out to the open market and talk to the UFC, and if he gets an offer, we have the right to match it.
“So it’s going to come down to a business decision for him. He’s a tremendous, tremendously talented athlete. He’s at his peak; he’s at his prime. As a fan with my CEO hat off, I think Hector Lombard is the best middleweight in mixed martial arts. So we would obviously like to have him continue to fight here, and if we’re not able to come to an agreement, he’ll go and get other offers and then we’ll make a decision whether we’re going to match those offers or let him go.”
While in Sydney, Asutralia, for UFC on FX 2, UFC president Dana White was approached for comment about his interest in signing Lombard. He had this to say: “I guess he’s pretty popular down here. I hear he’s under contract though with someone else, so we’ll see. I’ll probably end up with him. If he wants to fight in the UFC, then we’ll probably end up with him.”
Recently dethroned Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez is also nearing the end of his Bellator contract, meaning the promotion could conceivably lose two of its biggest stars at around the same time.