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UFC 166 fight card primer: Nate Marquardt vs. Hector Lombard

Bloody Elbow previews all 13 fights from tonight's UFC 166 PPV in Houston, Texas. Here, we look at Nate Marquardt vs. Hector Lombard.

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

On most other UFC pay-per-views, this particular fight would almost certainly make the main card. But for tonight's UFC 166 welterweight bout between Nate Marquardt (32-12-2 MMA, 10-5 UFC) and Hector Lombard (32-4-1, 1 NC MMA; 1-2 UFC) isn't even headlining the preliminary card!

This is Lombard's welterweight debut, and the former Bellator middleweight champion has been largely a disappointment since his arrival to the UFC last year. Will a change in weight class this late in his career prove to be helpful? Marquardt himself only has 3 welterweight bout under his belt, and he's on a two-fight losing streak. The UFC 166 preliminary card on Fox Sports 1 beings at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT.

How do these two measure up?

Marquardt: 34 years old | 6'0" | 73.5" reach
Lombard: 35 years old | 5'9" | 71" reach

What have these two done recently?

Marquardt: L - Jake Ellenberger (KO) | L - Tarec Saffiedine (UD) | W - Tyron Woodley (KO)
Lombard: L - Yushin Okami (SD) | W - Rousimar Palhares | L - Tim Boetsch (SD)

How did these two get here?

It was a little over two years ago when Nate Marquardt was released from the UFC after failing to disclose he was on TRT. Marquardt still cut to 170 lbs and debuted in Strikeforce to fight Tyron Woodley for the vacant welterweight title, and he looked very impressive in elbowing Woodley unconscious in the 4th round. Since then, it's quickly gone south for "The Great." He closed out Strikeforce by getting repeatedly kicked in the leg by Tarec Saffiedine, and then returned to the UFC in March of this year to face Jake Ellenberger, who knocked him out in the opening round.

Lombard was the UFC's big money signing in 2012, but he has not lived up to expectations of the promotion or his fans. The Cuban-Australian lost a somewhat controversial but undoubtedly dreadful split decision against Tim Boetsch at UFC 149, but rebounded nicely by starching Rousimar Palhares in Queensland, Australia to close out the year. A late 3rd round rally was not enough for Lombard to beat Yushin Okami, who was able to use his reach advantage effectively and take down the Olympic judoka. At 5'9" with a stocky frame, he was always deemed as a small middleweight, and it's no surprise that he's finally making the cut to 170 lbs.

Why should you even care?

These two have quickly gone from contenders to arguably the brink of a UFC release (and for Marquardt it would be his 2nd). They're in huge need of a win, and Lombard needs to show something spectacular in his welterweight debut.

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