One of the more interesting quotes of the past couple days has come from Hector Lombard. Never known to exactly be a people person, Lombard went on a rather humorous tirade of sorts to his hometown Australian news as he discussed his future in the UFC. He wants the best fighters because he doesn’t think he’ll get a shot at Anderson Silva. His exact quote was rather illuminating, especially coming at roughly the same time his matchup with perennial contender Yushin “Thunder” Okami in Japan was announced. His own words are fairly illuminating to his place in the UFC so far.
“Let’s cut the bullshit, let’s be honest, they won’t give me Anderson Silva. We have to be realistic and talk about things that might happen. I’ve got to take one fight at a time and one-by-one I can take them out and by the end of the year people are going to say he deserves the title shot. I want it to just be my hard work. I want people to say that no one deserves the title more than him. I just don’t want to fight guys that they say, ‘Oh that was a easy match-up for him.’ I want to fight the hardest match-up. I wish they (the UFC) could go now and make a pool of the toughest guys at 84kg that no one wants to fight and I want to fight that guy. I want to fight who the UFC and the people believe is the toughest guy out there. Not many people want to fight Palhares. Before we had the fight people were saying: ‘Hector is gone, Palhares is taking Hector’s leg back to Brazil.’ I would like to fight Chris Weidman, he’s a big name. I’ve been asking for (Yushin) Okami, I’ve been asking for Okami but they (UFC) won’t give him to me because of his chin. Okami has no chin, he can’t cop the punches. And where’s Jake Shields? He’s been around forever, he beat Dan Henderson. Those are the guys I want to fight.”
Well normally in what’s becoming an era where trash-talking elevates fighters into contenders much faster than winning fights does, or so it seems, we can normally dismiss this as a fighter trying to elevate himself into the championship equation with his words after a big win. Chael Sonnen did so multiple times against Silva, actually, and with Silva currently unscheduled one could easily just dismiss this as a fighter looking to move up for a chance at dethroning the champion. Fighters have now learned in the modern era of Zuffa that the squeaky wheel gets the greasing, to use an old country saying, but here’s the thing.
Hector Lombard hasn’t done enough to get a shot at Anderson Silva, not yet at least.
Lombard isn’t in a spot like Chris Weidman was last month, only a win away from being a contender. He’s not in Michael Bisping’s spot, a win away from being a contender. He’s not Chael Sonnen, who earned two title shots from a murderer’s row of opponents. Lombard is 1-1 in the UFC, a lackluster performance against Tim Boetsch marking the loss and a definitive knockout over Rousimar Palhares being his victory. So far Lombard passes the eyeball test of being a good fighter but not quite a contender. Not yet, at least.
At this point considering Lombard as a potential title challenger has to be on hold because he hasn’t proven to be anything resembling a title challenger yet. He’s looked good against Palhares and claims injuries prevented him from looking similarly against Boetsch but so far we can’t trust that claim. We can only look at what our eyes have seen in the UFC and what has come through has been spectacular and bowling show ugly with no point between. So far he hasn’t looked like a title challenger and that’s why the fight with Okami makes his comments all that much more important. A win over someone like Okami, who’s still among the top five in the division, moves him to the front of the line and potentially the man to face the winner of Anderson Silva vs. Michael Bisping (if he beats Vitor Belfort next weekend).
If he wants a fight with Anderson Silva he can’t wait for it to be given to him. He has to take it. Until then he needs to cut the bullsh!t.