Just over a year-and-a-half ago, “Shango” Hector Lombard (27-2) was a name that was known only by hardcore fans and the few people who followed his dominant performances in lesser known Australian organizations. Get ready for that to change. In addition to being an elite mixed martial artist, Lombard is also a multiple-time Cuban National Judo Champion and former member of the Cuban Olympic Judo team. He is the first and current Bellator Middleweight Champion as well as the reigning 185lb. champion of the Australia-based Cage Fighting Championships.
Lombard currently trains at the prestigious American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida and resides in Sydney, Australia, which has been a second home to him for the past decade. Since 2004 he spent the majority of his MMA career in The Land Down Under until he went international with his aggressive style in 2006. The Judo champion was virtually unknown to American MMA fans until April 2009 when he made his Bellator debut with an explosive knockout victory over Virgilio Lozano Soto (6-2). Some still doubted the Cuban black horse even in the wake of his astonishing US debut. His critics were quieted to a whisper after he blasted through the rest of the middleweight tournament and claimed the Bellator Middleweight Championship with calm but destructive power. Lombard’s incredible aggression and brutal knockout power has led him to amass a 19-fight, four-year-long winning streak and has made one thing certain – those who see him fight either for the first time or the tenth won’t forgot Hector Lombard and the energy he prompts from the audience.
Since taking his seat on Bellator’s middleweight throne in June 2009, the blitzkrieg that is Lombard has torn through every opponent he has faced. He obliterated his last two opponents, Jay Silva (5-4) and “Whisper” Herbert Goodman (16-9), in a combined forty-four seconds, setting a world record against Silva by knocking him out in just six seconds. After both victories he jumped atop the cage, pounded his chest and saluted the crowd. Comparisons have been drawn between Lombard and the late-1980s Mike Tyson, as he is always coming forward and throwing bombs that land with jaw crushing effect.
Hector’s aggressive style is seen only while competing in the ring. His dichotomous nature is revealed outside the cage where he is humble and respectful, and always thanking God for keeping him safe. When faced with disrespect from his opponents, he remains tight lipped until fight night when he is face-to-face with his adversary; only then does he respond to the trash talk, and he does so with his fists.
With 21 finishes in 27 wins, 15 by knockout and six by submission, it’s rare to see Lombard’s fights go the distance. However, there have been questions about Hector’s ability to maintain his aggressive pace through the later rounds. Both of the losses on his record came via decision against two world class fighters in the former MMA powerhouse PRIDE Fighting Championships. PRIDE veteran Akihiro Gono (32-16) and former Strikeforce and current DREAM light heavyweight king Gegard Mousasi (30-3) both managed to outlast Lombard’s first round blitzkrieg and carry the fight to the final bell. Both losses are four years behind him, however, and he has gone the distance six times since then. He hopes to avenge the losses one day, even if he has to fight at light heavyweight to get his chance at Gegard.
I want to be the best so I want to fight the best.” — Hector Lombard
Through a multitude of avenues, MMA fans have expressed their desire for Lombard to be added to the UFC’s top-notch roster. It is with the will to challenge anyone and the support of many loyal fans behind him that Lombard seeks to test himself against the very best mixed martial artists. He said, “I want to be the best so I want to fight the best.” Lombard is a man of few words, but he makes one thing abundantly clear: he wants to be the number-one middleweight MMA fighter in the world. In his most recent battle against “Whisper Goodman”, Lombard called out top-ten heavyweight Josh Barnett stating, “Hey Josh Barnett, I want to fight you, too, I don’t care how much you weigh; I want to fight you. Come to Bellator!”
All bravado aside, he must first defend his Bellator Middleweight Championship title on October 28 against challenger and Season Two Middleweight Tournament winner “The Storm” Alexander Shlemenko (30-4) at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida. The champ will defend his belt on his home turf, as he not only won his belt in Hollywood concluding Season One, but his American Top Team camp is close by. Lombard has proven to be perhaps the most dominant of the Bellator champions. He seeks to extend his current 19-fight win streak and continue his reign of terror in the middleweight division with another pugilistic knockout.