“Shango” Hector Lombard (27-2) is a name that has been on the lips of MMA fans more and more recently and oddly enough it hasn’t been to talk about another one of “Shango’s” highlight reel knockouts, but rather the fact that the Bellator Middleweight Champion called out “The Great” Nate Marquardt (31-10) shortly after Nate’s release from the UFC. Lombard, who is considered by many fans to be one of the most dangerous strikers in the sport, seemed to jump at the fact that Marquardt had been released by the world’s premier mixed martial arts promotion and was almost instantly looking to fight against the former UFC middleweight contender. Just days after Lombard called out the former top contender, Matt Homeyer of MMA Gospel talked to the current Bellator champ about what drew him into MMA, the upcoming Bellator Season 5 tournament, and, of course, Nate Marquardt.
The Bellator and Cage Fighting Championship (CFC) middleweight champ is returning to his second home in The Land Down Under to continue on his trek to MMA glory. “Shango” Hector Lombard (27-2), the dominant champion and American Top Team standout, was recently given the green light from the Bellator brass to compete in the Australian Fighting Championships (AFC) against TUF Season 7, Strikeforce, Maximum Fighting Championship (MFC), and Battlefield veteran “JT Money” Jesse Taylor (14-5) on August 27.
Taylor has been quite busy since his numbered days in the UFC, shuffling between the welterweight, middleweight, and even light heavyweight divisions and going 10-3 since his UFC release including a notable win over Dennis Kang (35-13) via first-round submission. “JT Money’s” confidence surely is at an all-time high, and he will need all of it when he steps into the cage with perhaps his most dangerous opponent to date in Hector Lombard – and on “Shango’s” adopted home turf, nonetheless.
Though the fight lasted the better part of its scheduled three rounds, it took only one well-placed punch for Bellator Middleweight Champion “Shango” Hector Lombard (27-2) to add “Niko” Falaniko Vitale (27-9) to his long list of knockout victims.
Vitale used his reach and jab to keep his distance from the powerful hands of “Shango” but the Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Lombard still got the edge on the judges’ score cards in rounds one and two by keeping on the pressure and landing solid strikes against the Hawaiian born “Niko”. After ten minutes of a slow paced fight, Vitale came forward with an uppercut to the body but unwisely hung his left arm low. Lombard came forward and slammed a right hook into the jaw of the former Superbrawl champ. Just under a minute into the final stanza, Lombard connected with that fight-ending right hook that left his opponent on the canvas and left fans singing a mixed tune, as the earlier frames were met with boos from the crowd.
Mixed martial arts invaded the night life of Atlantic City, New Jersey last night with a stacked card that suffered several hiccups in regards to the supporting bouts, but nonetheless did not disappoint. Headlined by a superfight between Bellator Middleweight Champion “Shango” Hector Lombard (27-2) and “Niko” Falaniko Vitale (27-9) and a supporting lightweight title contender bout between Season 4 finalists “Pitbull” Patricky Freire (3-1) and Michael Chandler (8-0), the card made promises of a stellar night of fights from the outset. Despite a bantamweight fight between Anthony Morrison (14-9) and Byran Goldsby (14-9) being cancelled due to Morrison missing weight by an astonishing 10lbs., the premium MMA organization from Chicago still had more than enough talent on its undercard to make good on those promises. “The Storm” Alexander Shlemenko (30-4) made his return to the cage against rising middleweight star Brett Cooper (12-6) and kicked off the night with a middleweight qualifying match that was followed by a pair of bouts that were every bit as exciting as the fans have come to expect from Bellator.
Falaniko Vitale vs. Hector Lombard: Lombard via KO (Punch), Round 3, 0:54
Patricky Freire vs. Michael Chandler: Chandler via Unanimous Decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27), Round 3, 5:00
Alexander Shlemenko vs. Brett Cooper: Shlemenko via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-28, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
The historic setting of Atlantic City, New Jersey, known for its casinos and night life, will host Bellator 44 tomorrow night with a locked and loaded main card that is perhaps the organization’s best offering to date. Even after the loss of “Cyborg” Lyman Good (11-2) to a hamstring injury last week that caused his fight with “The Handler” Dan Hornbuckle (18-4) to be put on hold, the card remains stacked with fighters known for their exciting styles. Bryan Goldsby (14-9) and Anthony Morrison (14-9) kick off the main card with a bantamweight fight that guarantees the winner the final spot in the Season 5 tournament, proceeded by returning title contender and self-proclaimed “pure striker” Russian-born kickboxer “The Storm” Alexander Shlemenko (29-4) meeting former welterweight Brett Cooper (12-5) who has found new life at a more natural weight of 185lbs. Then, Bellator Season 4 Lightweight Tournament finalist “Pitbull” Patricky Freire (3-0) will meet Mike Chandler Jr. (7-0) for the title of tournament champion and to earn his place as the next man in line for reigning 155lbs. champion Eddie Alvarez’s (21-2) belt. The trio of promising bouts will prime the pump for an explosive main event superfight in the middleweight division pitting UFC, Strikeforce, and SUPERBRAWL veteran “Niko” Falaniko Vitale (27-8) against the dangerous king of the Bellator middleweight division “Shango” Hector Lombard (26-2). Vitale’s slick Jiu-Jitsu may be enough to end one of the longest win streaks in MMA, but he will have to get past Lombard’s aggressive sweet science first or end his night sleeping on the canvas.
The recently announced Bellator Fighting Championships Featherweight “Summer Series” Tournament begins May 14 with perhaps their most stacked card to date. The event will take place in Atlantic City, New Jersey and also hosts a middleweight elimination match to determine who will grace the Season 5 Tournament as Bellator Season 2 Middleweight Tournament winner and title challenger “The Storm” Alexander Shlemenko (29-4) steps back into the cage against Brett Cooper (12-5).
Tonight, Luna Park’s Big Top Stadium in Sydney, Australia plays host to the inaugural event of the 2011 season for the nation’s longest running MMA promotion, Cage Fighting Championships (CFC). Headlining CFC 16: Lombard vs. Doerksen is reigning concurrent CFC and Bellator Middleweight Champion “Shango” Hector Lombard (25-2) putting not only his belt on the line for a sixth time, but also his four-year long win streak that saw him capture two titles and left a trail of knocked out opponents in his wake when he faces UFC veteran and hard nosed submission specialist “El Dirte” Joe Doerksen (44-14). Doerksen is looking to put an end to his two-fight skid, and taking out a powerhouse and top ten middleweight in Lombard will surely sweeten the win and make an impressive addition to his resume. The co-main event pits Sydney’s own “Chalate” Manuel Rodriguez (7-1) against New Zealand native “Hot Rod” Rod MacSwain (12-2) in a high stakes No. 1 contender bout for the promotion’s welterweight title currently held by American fighter Jesse Juarez (13-4). Also backing the two action packed bouts is a night full of Australian fight veterans and young guns looking to stake claims in Aussie’s premier MMA promotion, Cage Fighting Championships.
Bellator Fighting Championship’s first and still reigning middleweight king “Shango” Hector Lombard (25-2) is returning to his adoptive home of Australia and stepping into the cage sooner than expected. Before he faces UFC, Strikeforce, and SUPERBRAWL veteran “Niko” Falaniko Vitale (27-8) at Bellator 44 in May, Lombard will defend his Cage Fighting Championships title against UFC veteran and world class submission expert “El Dirte” Joe Doerksen (44-14) on March 25 under the CFC banner. The bout will mark the seventh time that Lombard has defended his CFC middleweight title belt.
Bellator Middleweight Champion and aggressive knockout artist “Shango” Hector Lombard (25-2) returns to his court after his Unanimous Decision victory over Bellator Season 2 Tournament Winner “The Storm” Alexander Shlemenko (29-4) at Bellator 34 last October. Lombard is expected to meet UFC, Strikeforce, and Superbrawl veteran “Niko” Falaniko Vitale (27-8) in a non-title fight that likely will take place at Bellator 44 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The champ rides an impressive 14-fight win streak into the bout and has not lost a match since 2006. “Shango” is expected to come out as a clear favorite against the larger Hawaiian, who makes his debut on a three-fight streak of his own.