Two former champions in other organizations will square off at UFC 166 when former Bellator Middleweight Champion and newly-minted welterweight Hector Lombard (32-4-1 1NC, 1-2 UFC) meets former Strikeforce Welterweight Champion Nate Marquardt (32-12-2, 10-5 UFC). MMAFighting.com first reported the news, but the UFC has yet to make a formal announcement of the booking.
Lombard won 25 straight fights, including winning the Bellator Middleweight Championship, prior to signing his blockbuster deal with the UFC in 2012. He debuted inside the Octagon at UFC 149 in July 2012, and had a disappointing and flat performance in a fight that saw his four-year-plus unbeaten streak ended. He followed that with a knockout win over Rousimar Palhares at UFC On FX 6 in December, but fell back into the loss column after dropping a decision to Yushin Okami at UFC On FUEL TV 8 in March.
After much consideration, Lombard will be making the move from the middleweight division to the welterweight division in this bout, and a fight with Marquardt is one that interested him for his 170-pound debut. It also interested Marquardt, and the fight was booked.
Marquardt returned to the UFC in March when he took a bout on short notice against Jake Ellenberger at UFC 158. Ellenberger knocked Marquardt out in the first round, which marked back-to-back losses for the first time in Marquardt’s 46-fight career. Marquardt lost the Strikeforce Welterweight Championship to Tarec Saffiedine in Strikeforce’s last-ever fight. Marquardt defeated Tyron Woodley in July 2012 to win the championship.
UFC 166 takes place on Oct. 19 from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. Cain Velasquez defends the UFC Heavyweight Championship in a trilogy bout with former UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior Dos Santos in the only other bout announced for the card thus far.