Following a losing debut for former Bellator champ Hector Lombard, UFC president Dana White had made the suggestion that the dense striker likely had octagon jitters, but would probably have better luck at the lower welterweight, due to his frame.
“Lombard maybe should fight at 170,” said White. “He made 185 easily. He’s short and wide, but I think he could make 170.”
Didn’t take long for Lombard to respond to White and many other critics of his UFC premiere in regards to his heavy frame.
“I feel strong at 185 (pounds), the UFC middleweight wrote Monday on Twitter. “Just because I had a bad fight does not mean that I am going to drop to 170.”
White has made it clear in the past that he would never force an athlete to change weight classes. Lombard is free to continue to tweak his game-plan at his comfortable 185 division. Many were shocked to see such a lackluster performance from the six year undefeated knockout artist. The loss gave further credence to what White has been saying all along. “You can’t rank these guys if they’ve never competed in the UFC.”
We saw a similar case as middleweight champ Jake Shields made the transfer into the UFC. He may have won a close decision in his first match, but had suffered back-to-back losses after a lofty win steak outside the organization.