Keeping the Fear Alive — Lombard & Palhares Fight for their Reputations at UFC on FX 6

Posted: December 13, 2012 in Commentary/Opinion, UFC Events
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palhares_vs_lombardUFC on FX 6 sure has an interesting fight in the “leadoff” position, doesn’t it? Ironically, it’s the opening fight of the main card that may garner the most hype in the Western hemisphere—or is the UK in the Western hemisphere too? I always forget how that works. But anyway, the first televised tilt should be of great interest to fans—and great importance to each of the fighters.

While TUF Smashes coaches George Sotiropoulos and Ross Pearson are on top of the marquee, with their protégés following close behind, it’s the Rousimar Palhares vs. Hector Lombard fight that might be the most crucial of all. In a way, they have very similar stories, and sit in very similar positions.

For years, Lombard was considered one of the top fighters in the world not already in the UFC. The hype train was in full gear when he fought Tim Boetsch in his octagon debut. As is common with unreasonable hype, Lombard’s performance was a miserable failure in the eyes of most. While it was a close split decision, it wasn’t at all what everyone expected. Lombard’s reputation for destruction—15 of his 17 previous fights ended in stoppages in his favor—had the bar set very high. The sluggish, non-violent showing didn’t go over too well with the anxious fans.

For Palhares, reputation and violence also played a big role in his overall standing within the UFC community. A penchant for mangling opponent’s legs went along with his bizarre, erratic behavior to build Palhares’ mystique into one of the most feared fighters in the middleweight division. It was rumored that no one wanted to fight him. But I his last fight, Alan Belcher made him look vulnerable. His patented leg locks were deemed ineffective and he ultimately succumbed to Belcher’s ground attack.

One of these fighter’s stands to regain his place as a future contender this weekend; but the other drops considerably in the pecking order. I’m not entirely prepared to say the loser’s train has been completely derailed, but let’s face it…it might be close.

Perhaps the two most frightening fighters in the division just a year ago, both Palhares and Lombard are at risk of losing something much more valuable than their second fight in a row. They are both in danger—grave danger? Is there any other kind?—of losing their ‘holy shit’ factor. That’s what I call the feeling a fighter must face when they know it’s very possible they’ll be knocked unconscious or end up with a severed limb. I’ll be watching UFC on FX 6 closely from the very beginning to see what happens next.

  1. […] main card is a key bout at 185 as Hector Lombard takes on Rousimar Palhares. Since this fight was already previewed, I will stick to talking about the matches involving the […]

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