RICH HANSEN, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
FRANK HYDEN, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
It was pretty damaging, no doubt. Lombard could still compete for a tile, but he'll have to be mighty impressive in his next handful of fights. He's going to have to start a path of destruction. Decision wins aren't going to help him, he's going to have to finish people.
ANWAR PEREZ, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
Hector Lombard lost a lot of steam with his loss to Tim Boetsch, but he can still salvage a serious run to the title with a set of top tier fights. He would benefit greatly with fighting fighters that are either former champs or contenders, such as a Chael Sonnen. Wins over fighters like that would be able to help Lombard get past a lousy first outing in the UFC, and move right back into place towards a title fight in the middlweight division.
GRIFFIN MARSH, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
One word describes Hector Lombard: FLOP! Of course he deserves a second chance but there are multiple fighters in the division that will beat him. And the Anderson Silva thoughts from Lombard fans... he'd knock Lombard out in less than a round.
ERIC HOBAUGH, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
If MMA has shown us anything, it is all fighters have bad nights and bad fights. Lombard was definitely one of the most exciting fighters outside of the UFC. He fought for Bellator, AFC, CFC, and G-force fights since 2008. The level of competition from those lesser organizations and the UFC is staggering. It was easy to over rate Lombard with the way he ripped through his last 20 victories. He was dominant and had run through every good fighter outside of the UFC at 185. This loss is a step back. When a fighter comes in with so much hype and publicity, they are not given any easy fights. I was never a Brock Lesner fan, but he was given only top ten fighters when he made his way into the Octagon. The way Lombard fought was more disappointing than the loss for me. He has been, in the past, aggressive and fun to watch. Dana White brought him in to challenge for the title. The UFC will give only give him top ten fighters and he must be more explosive and not let the big stage give him jitters. If he can control his nerves and win two or three fights against top ten fighters, he should get a title shot in 2013.
BRAD WALKER, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
Lombard's loss to Boetsch was more than just damaging, it was a complete momentum killer. He came in with the hype train at full steam ahead and not only was it an awful fight but he did not show any of the UFC fans why he was so dominant in Bellator. He has now set the bar extremely low for Bellator champions making their way to the UFC - as Dana White said it's an entirely different game. A guy who was believed to be on a collision course with Anderson Silva is now standing outside of the top 10 in middleweight. He has lost his hype and his shine in the eyes of Zuffa and to make it even worse he took part in one of the most boring fights in the history of the UFC and arguably the worst card in recent memory. Lombard may or may not ever be able to compensate for what he lost in that fight, but if he loses a second fight in the UFC before taking 2-3 wins he's going to bury himself in the bottom of the pile and wind up on the outside looking in - again.
JASON AMADI, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
Heading into UFC 149, Hector Lombard was riding one of the best undefeated streaks in MMA. Lombard had the physique, the presence, and the record of a marketable contender, but all of that went out the window once that fight started. Now, no one can stop talking about how small he is, how boring he is, and how little his accomplishments really prove.
While Lombard deserves every bit of the criticism he's getting after that performance, it isn't as if he was all smoke and mirrors. He's a legitimately talented fighter with big time power in his hands and a world class judo base. If he actually fights, he'll definitely win more than he loses in the UFC.
That being said, there's no telling whether or not he actually plans on actually fighting in the UFC. The fact is that his UFC 149 performance wasn't really that out of the ordinary. Sometimes Lombard blows dudes away really quickly, but a lot of the time he just stands there waiting for an opportunity that may or may not pay off. If he continues to fight that way against legitimate competition in the UFC, he'll be back in Bellator putting the boots to Falaniko Vitale in no time.
Or perhaps he can square off against that John "The Baker" fellow Michael Bisping is always going on about.
[Hector Lombard photo (c) Henry Dziekan III]