It has been widely speculated that Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard (31-2-1, 1 NC) would be signing with the UFC now that he’s reached free agency. That speculation can now come to an end, as MMAFighting’s Mike Chiapetta reports that the Cuban judoka will in fact be joining the UFC’s 185lbs ranks.
Per Lombard’s contract (which, along with Eddie Alvarez’s, was one of the first inked by the promotion), Bellator had the option of matching any offers made to Lombard by other promotions. Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney told MMAFighting that the UFC’s offer included a cut of the pay-per-view profits, which is something that his promotion couldn’t match.
Lombard himself confirmed the news shortly after the publishing of MMAFighting’s report. Via Twitter: “I am in the UFC it is official ”
The 34-year-old Cuban expatriate and former Olympic judo player won the inaugural Bellator middleweight championship in 2009 with a TKO of Jared Hess; he has defended the belt once, over Alexander Shlemenko.
Lombard is currently riding a twenty-fight winning streak; his only two losses have come via unanimous decision against Akihiro Gono and Gegard Mousasi. He last appeared in action at Bellator 58 in November, where he defeated Trevor Prangley via second-round TKO.