Hector Lombard has signed with the UFC following the expiry of his Bellator contract.
While he was known to be set on signing with the promotion, Bellator FC had a ‘match clause’ in place which allowed them to match any offer made to Lombard by any other promotion.
Last week it was reported that Bellator was looking at the details of an offer made to Lombard by the UFC; sources told Fighters Only that the review was a formality and that Lombard would definitely jump ship.
Today his signing with the UFC was confirmed by Mike Chiappetta of MMA Fighting, via his personal Twitter account. That was followed by a report on MMA Fighting with a quote from Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney regarding Lombard’s departure.
“We have a business model where we make decisions based on analyzing data,” he said. "Since the first day we came into being, we made decisions based on real models, not hypotheticals. The UFC model is largely based on pay-per-view, and the offer they made to hector is going to be monetized via pay-per-view,” he said.
“While pay-per-view could play a role in our future, today it doesn’t. So, we did our due diligence to review the UFC contract, analyze in terms of charging our audience to see Hector vs. putting him on free TV, and we decided to allow the UFC to sign Hector, where I am extremely confident he will win the UFC middleweight title on pay-per-view.”
Bellator currently has a middleweight tournament underway and the semi-finals take place soon. The overall tournament winner would have fought Lombard for the Bellator middleweight title but now the two tournament finalists will compete for the vacant belt instead.