Top talent continues to migrate to the UFC promotion.
Following shortly after a recent contract offer made out to Bellator middleweight champion, Hector Lombard to fight in the UFC promotions, Lombard has jumped ship. Bellator did have the right to match or exceed the offer, but it seems Bellator was unable to better the offer as Lombard has taken the contract per his official twitter. He now joins the UFC middleweight division, currently ruled by long-running champion Anderson Silva. Lombard could now be a likely factor into the title picture shortly.
Chael Sonnen will be fighting Silva for the title next, but should Silva get past his challenger again, there are not many viable contenders left. Chris Weidman has not claimed enough notable victories yet, Michael Bisping is coming off a loss, Tim Boestch was close to a loss against Yushin Okami before making a comeback win, and Mark Munoz is still injured. Rousimar Palhares will be fighting Alan Blecher shortly, but the winner of that fight would still need another one before a title shot. I would propose the winner of Palhares and Belcher to take on Hector for a title shot. With amazing knockout power, top-tier Judo, 24 fight win-streak, and already a world champion, Hector should not need much before a title shot. The story of Lombard could be related to the story of champ Anderson Silva entering into the UFC.
As for Bellator, Bjorn Rebney has stated it was not viable for him to resign Hector once looking at the UFC contract. He is sure for one thing though that Hector will win the UFC Middleweight title. The Bellator Middleweight title picture will take a little bit longer to figure out as Alexander Shlemenko was due a title shot. Now, he will wait until the current tournament is over so he can face the winner for the middleweight title.