He is yet to make his debut for the UFC, yet former Bellator FC middleweight champion Hector Lombard is already causing dissent in the ranks.
UFC president Dana White recently made comments to the effect of Lombard possibly fast-tracking himself to a title shot if he wins his debut against -- in impressive fashion.
That has upset other top middleweights, including both Mark Munoz and Michael Bisping, who feel they are ahead of him in the queue and that it would be unfair for the Cuban judoka to get a shot so quickly.
First up was Bisping, who told interviewer Ariel Helwani that he would be “massively, massively pissed off” if Lombard was able to slip into pole-position after just one win in the UFC.
“Listen, I understand the UFC's decision, the reason why I haven't had a title shot is because of me… I have been in the position to fight for the title several times and have been in number one contender match-up's several times [and lost].
“So I've got no one to blame but myself, I'm not blaming the UFC, I'm not angry with the UFC. If I had beaten Dan Henderson I would have fought for the title but I didn't , If I had beaten Chael Sonnen I'd be fighting Anderson in Brazil, but I didn't , I was robbed by the judges, it wasn't the UFC.
"So yeah, it's frustrating to see someone coming from Bellator. I will be honest, I have never seen the guy fight once because I've never seen Bellator, I don't watch it, I have no interest. By all accounts he's an aggressive fighter and he knocks people out, but I have never seen him fight.
“He could be the best thing since sliced bread, I don't know. But what I do know is that he has never fought in the UFC, so why the f--- is he getting a title shot?”
Bisping’s comments were echoed by Mark Munoz, who says that Lombard - currently riding a 20-fight win streak - has to “earn his stripes” before he can get a crack at the middleweight gold, which will be contested by Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen for a second time on July 7, in a hugely anticipated rematch of their UFC 117 meeting.
Here’s what Munoz has to say to MiddleEasy: