In the co-main event at UFC 149: Faber vs. Barao, Hector Lombard (31-2-1(1); UFC Debut) makes his long anticipated UFC debut. He'll be facing Tim Boetsch (15-4; 6-3 UFC). This Middleweight fight is the 4th of 5 fights on the PPV main card. The USA TODAY / MMA Nation Consensus MMA Rankings have Boetsch as the #6 Middleweight in the world, with Lombard at #11. The UFC 149 PPV card airs live Saturday night July 21 at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.
Despite Boetsch being ranked 5 spots above Lombard, it's the debuting fighter who is drawing the most attention here. There has been talk of the former Bellator champion coming to the UFC for quite some time. Now, he's finally here, but is immediately facing a very tough test. This will be a hard hitting battle between two strong Middleweights, both with heavy hands and powerful wrestling. Expect the winner to join Chris Weidman as the possible next Middleweight title challenger.
How do these two stack up?
Lombard: 34 years old | 5'9" | 73" reach
Boetsch: 31 years old | 5'11" | 74" reach
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
Hector Lombard comes in on a crazy 6 year undefeated streak. During those years, he's won the Bellator Middleweight title and put together a pretty amazing highlight reel of vicious KO's. A former Olympic Judoka, Lombard now trains with ATT in Florida. He has powerful hands and good wrestling that combine to make him a real force. But he's also facing a significant step up in competition here. For more on Lombard, check out my in-depth analysis.
Tim "The Barbarian" Boetsch came to the UFC in 2008 as just a 2 year pro. He had mixed success at first, going 3-3 in the Light Heavyweight division. Last year, he made the move down to Middleweight, and it's done wonders for him. Now 3-0 at 185, Boetsch is coming off the biggest win of his career - a fantastic come from behind KO of Yushin Okami. Boetsch showed tremendous heart in that fight, but he also showed some holes in his stand-up. Which of those two sides will be at the front against Lombard? We'll find out tonight.
Why should you care?
Title implications, potential for a ridiculous KO, heavily hyped new prospect coming in, all around awesome fight... what more do you need?
More UFC 149 preview coverage from Bloody Elbow after the jump.