Lombard to fight Okami at UFC Japan

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News has filtered through that Hector Lombard will be fighting Yushin Okami. This will be a great test for ‘Aussie’ Lombard, who has recorded moderate success in his last two outings for the UFC.

Lombard comes off a brutal KO win against Rousimar Palhares on the Gold Coast and before that he lost an ugly split decision to Tim Boetsh back in July 2012.

With his go forward, headhunting style, Lombard could very well see himself fast-tracked to a title fight if he records another highlight reel win.

Counter to that, I figure Okami is in a tough spot. Ever since his loss to Anderson Silva, Okami has been left in a no-man’s land, fighting up and comers or other potential contenders as a gatekeeper of the division.

If Okami records a win against Lombard, it’s unlikely he will be given a title shot soon but a loss could see his brand of wrestling-smothering working against him, as it’s not very fan friendly.

Okami could see himself looking at undercard status pretty quickly with a loss. He’s unlikely to be cut, as he holds significant pull in Japan, which the UFC will be aware of for this fight.

As to the fight, Okami has a very simple but very effect style of fighting. He follows his punches in for the clinch, pushes his opponent against the cage, gets dominant position and then looks for a takedown.

Okami then looks to improve position (but not submit, anyone?) and punch in a safe, non-risk fashion until his opponent is all but finished.

I don’t see Lombard escaping this more than once, so it will be about how well Lombard reacts to this sort of pressure.

If Lombard can stop Okami coming forward with good counter punches or reverse the clinch against the cage, he could record another highlight finish (at least I hope so).

Lombard has fought on the local MMA circuit (both CFC and AFC champion) and has proved to be a fan favourite ever since staying in Australia after the 2000 Sydney Games.

He holds the fastest recorded knockout (0:06) and the most consecutive wins (eight) in Bellator Fighting Championships.

Complete fight card, which is shaping up pretty well, is below.

Event: UFC on FUEL TV 8: “Silva versus Stann”
Location: Saitama Super Arena, Japan
March 3rd, 2013.

Main Event:
205 lbs.: Wanderlei Silva versus Brian Stann

Other scheduled fights (FUEL TV/Facebook):
265 lbs.: Mark Hunt versus Stefan Struve
185 lbs.: Hector Lombard versus Yushin Okami
145 lbs.: Mizuto Hirota versus Rani Yahya
170 lbs.: Marcelo Guimaraes versus Hyun Gyu Lim
155 lbs.: Takanori Gomi versus Diego Sanchez
170 lbs.: Siyar Bahadurzada versus Dong Hyun Kim
185 lbs.: Riki Fukuda versus Brad Tavares
155 lbs.: Cristiano Marcello versus Kazuki Tokudome
135 lbs.: Bryan Caraway versus Takeya Mizugaki
135 lbs.: Alex Caceres versus Kyung Ho Kang

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