Recently, Bellator lost one of its biggest stars when promotional middleweight champion Hector Lombard left for the UFC. During a recent appearance on the Sherdog Radio Network’s Beatdown show, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney explained how the UFC picked up Lombard and why he wishes the Cuban-born middleweight nothing but the best in his new home.
“We don’t have that kind of ridiculously oppressive champion’s clause where if you’re champion, you stick with us until you’re 60 or 70 years old. We had an opportunity to negotiate exclusively with him. That came to an end, and then he had the right to solicit an offer from the UFC, and then we had the right to match it,” Rebney explained. “… He went to the UFC, got a large-scale contract, submitted that to us, which was literally like 60 pages’ worth of contract and terms. We reviewed it with myself and our partners at Viacom and at Spike and looked at the agreement, looked at the pay-per-view movers and shakers in the agreement, looked at kind of the catalyst to being able to monetize the agreement, and just made a conscious decision.”
Rebney has always touted Lombard as the best 185er on the planet, and he explained that his opinion hasn’t changed now that the fighter competes for a different promotion.
“Hector’s an awesome dude,” he said. “I think he’s the best middleweight in the world. I think that in very short order we will see Hector Lombard win the UFC title at 185 pounds on pay-per-view. I wish the guy nothing but the greatest success. He was great for us. There’s no doubt in my mind he’ll be great for the UFC.”
Lombard makes his UFC debut against Brian Stann at UFC on Fox 4 this August.