Middleweights booked for Aug. 4 bout in Los Angeles
Hector Lombard wants a path to UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, and we now know the first step he’ll have to take to get there.
Lombard, the former Bellator middleweight champ who signed with the UFC last week, will face Brian Stann in his first fight with the promotion. The UFC announced the fight pairing late Sunday night.
Lombard and Stann will meet in a crucial middleweight bout on the Aug. 4 UFC on Fox 4 card in Los Angeles. Though the card does not yet have a main event announced, the Lombard-Stann fight is a near certainty to appear on the main card on the Fox broadcast. (update on main event status here)
Lombard (31-2-1, 1 NC) has amassed an impressive 25-fight unbeaten streak, going 24-0-1 since his last loss – a unanimous decision setback to Gegard Mousasi in a 2006 Pride fight. In fact, Lombard’s only two losses came in 2006, both in Pride, to Mousasi and Akihiro Gono, both by decision.
The 34-year-old Cuban-born fighter was a member of the 2000 Cuban Olympic team in judo, a sport in which he currently is a fourth-degree black belt. His primary training ground is with American Top Team in Florida. He was Bellator’s first middleweight champion, winning the promotion’s Season 1 tournament at 185 pounds. He defended the title just once, more than a year later, with a five-round unanimous decision against Alexander Shlemenko. His other Bellator fights since winning the title, aside from the one title defense, have been catch-weight bouts or non-title fights.
Stann (12-4, 6-3 UFC) is coming off a dominant first-round knockout of Alessio Sakara earlier this month at UFC on Fuel TV: Gustafsson vs. Silva. That win got Stann back on track after a second-round submission loss to Chael Sonnen in October at UFC 136.
Prior to that setback, Stann had a three-fight winning streak – all three by stoppage. A Fight of the Night submission win over Mike Massenzio in August 2010 was followed by high-profile TKO wins over Chris Leben and Jorge Santiago. But the former WEC light heavyweight champion, Marine and Silver Star winner for valor in combat was overwhelmed by Sonnen from the opening bell in October, and eventually tapped his winning streak away.
UFC on Fox 4 is set for the Staples Center in Los Angeles. It will be the promotion’s first trip there since UFC 104 in October 2009.