Hector Lombard has yet to make his UFC debut - but he is already calling out the middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
“I’ve wanted to fight in the UFC all my career. I want to be UFC middleweight champion and I want to fight Anderson Silva to do it. I have such respect for him as a fighter, it would be an honor and a dream come true to test my skills against his,” he says.
“I wouldn’t be in the UFC if I didn’t think I could win the UFC world title. I’m here in the UFC to prove I am the best in the world.”
This is actually the second time the 34-year-old judoka has inked with the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization. Lombard put pen to paper to fight in the UFC in 2007, but a visa issue kept him fighting in Japan and his adopted Australia for several more years.
But now riding a hugely impressive unbeaten run which stretches back 25 fights and nearly six years, Lombard enters the UFC with an enormous international reputation, not least because of his appearance for Cuba in the 2000 Olympic Games.
“I’m very proud of my heritage and I want to represent all Cubans around the world when I fight in the UFC, just like I did when I went to the Olympics in 2000,” he says.
Lombard has vacated the Bellator FC middleweight title in order to join the UFC and is expected to make his debut this summer against an opponent from the top five end of the middleweight division. If Anderson Silva retains his belt against Chael Sonnen later this year, a win will very probably put Lombard straight into contention.
On the way to compiling a 31-2-1 (1NC) he has defeated many UFC veterans including Jamie Te Huna, Kalib Starnes, Jay Silva, Falaniko Vitale, Joe Doerksen, Jesse Taylor, Trevor Prangley and Brian Ebersole. His record includes 17 knockouts and seven submission wins.