Hector Lombard has requested the ‘hardest fight’ he can get, which to that the UFC responds with Yushin Okami. The two are set to face-off at UFC on Fuel TV 8 on March 3rd. The card looks to be the most stacked Fuel card to date, with the four main bouts all featuring fighters that have either headlined or co-headlined a major UFC card. With Wanderlei Silva, Brian Stann, Takanori Gomi, Stephan Struve, Diego Sanchez, and Mark Hunt all on the line-up, you would think they would have put Lombard and Okami on another card. I doubt you will hear anyone complain though since this will be on free TV.
Okami just competed at UFC 155 where he earned a second win over Alan Belcher. Before that bout Okami was only 1-2 with both of his losses coming by way of knockout, and his only win coming over a relatively unknown Buddy Roberts. It will be a hard sell for Okami to get another title shot as long as Anderson Silva still holds the title, since his style does not draw too many fans, and he was dispatched in under two rounds by the longtime middleweight champion in his only title shot.
Although, if Lombard beats Okami impressively, he may get the title shot he has clamored for. Lombard debuted in the UFC riding a 24 fight winning streak, but his lackluster bout against Tim Boetsch killed most the hype he had. He claimed to have been injured and vindicated himself with a first round knockout over Rousimar Palhares. The UFC may choose to give him a title shot if he can win this and chalk up his debut to UFC jitters, since a lot of other contenders are either hurt, have recent losses, or names are not big enough to hold a card opposite of Silva.
Taking place March 2, 2013 from the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama Japan–here is the UFC on FUEL TV 8 card.
205 lbs.: Wanderlei Silva vs. Brian Stann
Other scheduled fights (FUEL TV/Facebook):
265 lbs.: Mark Hunt vs. Stefan Struve
185 lbs.: Hector Lombard vs. Yushin Okami
145 lbs.: Mizuto Hirota vs. Rani Yahya
170 lbs.: Marcelo Guimaraes vs. Hyun Gyu Lim
155 lbs.: Takanori Gomi vs. Diego Sanchez
170 lbs.: Siyar Bahadurzada vs. Dong Hyun Kim
185 lbs.: Riki Fukuda vs. Brad Tavares
155 lbs.: Cristiano Marcello vs. Kazuki Tokudome
135 lbs.: Bryan Caraway vs. Takeya Mizugaki
135 lbs.: Alex Caceres vs. Kyung Ho Kang