Promoter speak is nothing new. A good promoter spends plenty of time in the public eye building up his fighters and upcoming fights. So when Bellator's Bjorn Rebney said that he thinks Hector Lombard would beat everyone on earth at 185 (except maybe Anderson Silva) it wasn't a shock.
"I think there's one guy on earth right now that I would look at and say to myself, ‘He could beat Hector.' His name is Anderson Silva. I don't know that I would pick Anderson to beat Hector, but it would be one heck of a fight. We'll see what happens with Alexander and Vitor, and one of those guys is going to come out with a big win."
The problem for fans of the sport with this statement isn't that Lombard lacks talent. He's a large middleweight with legitimate power and good judo skills. It's that he simply has yet to face the opposition to prove much about his overall place in the sport.
Yes, he has gone 24 fights without a loss but who has he beaten? His best win is either Joe Doerksen (after Joe lost two straight fights and got released from the UFC) or Brian Ebersole which isn't exactly enough of a resume for many fans to take Bjorn's comment too seriously.
And that speaks to the bigger issue with a promotion like Bellator. Maybe Bjorn is right and Lombard really is that good. As a promotion it just doesn't possess the roster to prove it, or to build Hector into a star. While he is feasting on talent that belongs in main events of regional events, he is not able to grow his profile. There's no test for Lombard that will prove anything to anyone unless Bellator goes out of their way to bring in Nate Marquardt.
This carries over to any other dominant champion they have. The days of being able to match Eddie Alvarez up with Gilbert Melendez have passed. Now he can beat a stiff test like Pat Curran of Michael Chandler and it simply won't matter to anyone.
This is, and will always be, what keeps the Bellator champions from becoming major names in the sport. It takes more than one or two fighters to create a compelling division where the champion's fights matter in the larger scheme of things, and they just don't have the depth to make it work.