The Match Up
Welterweight Hector Lombard 34-4-1 vs. Josh Burkman 27-10
Hector Lombard -800
Josh Burkman +550
‘Finish Him’ Stats
Hector Lombard: 19 TKO/KO
Josh Burkman: Choke (6)
3 Things You Should Know
1. Josh Burkman is no longer underneath Arianny Penelope Lopez Conception Celeste’s shadow.
For the longest time Burkman wasn’t just known for being on TUF, but for dating one of the more high profile UFC ring card girls. But that was pretty much it. After all, here Burkman was, losing to guys like Dustin Hazelett and Pete Sell while Arianny was topping the music charts with her hit single, ‘fight to love me’. It was no friends forever, but at least it wasn’t ‘G in a Gi’.
Burkman is 9-2 since being cut from the UFC. Has he earned it? Yes and no. Burkman had always been a decent enough, well rounded fighter. The kind of guy who probably could have stayed in the UFC all this time if it wasn’t for 2008 when he went winless. For awhile his game didn’t seem to grow with the sport: he was still that ‘strike the grappler, grapple the striker’ kind of fighter who knew the ‘how’, but not the ‘when’. It’s not enough to know how to transition. You have to know when. Or you can be Hector Lombard, and just be naturally capable of punching through a brick wall.
2. Burkman has never lost by TKO/KO, so don’t expect the knockout to come swiftly.
Burkman has always had a sturdy chin, in part because he’s pretty good at staying away from ‘firefights’. Nonetheless, this is Hector Lombard we’re talking about. Would anyone be surprised if Burkman gets caught? Of course not. Still, the KO won’t come as quickly as casual fans might assume. Lombard’s last fight against Jake Shields didn’t exactly set the world on fire, but that’s how Jake Shields operates. It’s one of Jake’s more unique talents; being able to take away all the dynamics of a fight.
I don’t mind Shields so that’s not meant as a dig. To be fair to Lombard, Shields rarely gets dominated like that. He’s taken a bad loss, but not such an effortless one from beginning to end. So I consider the win impressive in that context. On paper, he should be able to defeat Burkman with ease.
3. The odds are correct, but its correctness will not be proportional to the level of violence.
Yes, Burkman just obliterated Jon Fitch. First by rocking him with punches, then by choking him unconscious like he was in a fashion show. But Fitch is a struggling fighter right now, and when Burkman fought for the WSOF welterweight title, he got slept by Steve Carl.
So there are still shades of the ‘old Burkman’. Burkman’s a more versatile fighter on the feet. He’s got strong punches in combination on the feet, like he always has, but he has a much more dynamic kicking game. Nothing fancy, just versatile (including the patella stomp, which fans don’t seem to like). Grappling wise he’s pretty aggressive in top control, and uses a variety of methods to put himself in top control.
But alas…none of these things are ways out against Lombard. For example, Lombard won’t be taken down by Burkman. He is more likely to end up on his back, where he’s much less effective. Despite his submission prowess, Burkman has a sedated version of Melvin Guillard’s problem on the ground; their propensity to panic. When you’re uncomfortable, opponents typically recognize it like blood next to a great white. Lombard has faced tougher strikers as well. I could see Burkman staying at range for a bit. Some leg kicks, some takedown attempts, and just enough to stay out of harm’s way.
But certainly not for long. While Burkman’s cardio is no longer a problem, traces of said problem still show up. Granted, Lombard isn’t known for his endurance either. In fact, I’m sure Rogan and Goldberg will work diligently to remind us that Lombard’s muscles are like plate tectonics; too much movement will be disastrous. But with his speed, he’ll land enough to make Josh desperate. Lombard won’t get a title shot with such a win, but he’s doing what he needs to do to get there.
Hector Lombard by Guillotine, round 2.
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