Hector Lombard fulfilled his potential in his last bout, his second in the UFC, by destroying leg lock specialist Rousimar Palhares via first round knockout at UFC on FX 6 in his adopted home of Australia. Find out why he was irked by Palhares' post-fight excuses in his exclusive interview with MMAmania.com below.
Hector Lombard is not the type of guy who's patience should be tested.
And he was not very happy when word came out from Rousimar Palhares' camp that the Brazilian was blaming his recent (Dec. 14, 2012) UFC on FX 6 loss to Lombard on a broken foot suffered during the fight.
Accoridng to Lombard, the broken foot was due to a perfectly checked leg kick, something he's trained for years and Palhares was going to be destroyed regardless of the injury. From watching the fight, with Lombard's speed, aggression and explosiveness dramatically increased, he was probably right.
Lombard uncharacteristically reached out to the media this past weekend and MMAmania was more than happy to answer the call.
The former Bellator middleweight champion discussed karma for Palhares, wanting to fight trash talking fighters and the logistics of post-fight excuses in this exclusive interview.
Check it out:
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You mentioned that you're going to start doing your training camps in Australia from now on. Are you still going to be doing your regular training with American Top Team before going to Australia to specifically prepare for fights?
Hector Lombard: Yeah, for sure I'll be training at ATT and when I am ready for a fight, I'll go back to Australia. But if the fight is in America, I reckon I'll just stay there and train. If the fight is in another country, I will train for it in Australia.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You put out a message a couple days ago asking for interviews ASAP. Was there a specific reason you wanted to talk to the media, like something you wanted to get off your chest?
Hector Lombard: I didn't want to say anything but "Toquinho" has been saying he fought with a broken foot and I just wanted to tell him that he broke his foot in the fight, and that doesn't count. If he went into the fight with a broken foot, that's another thing, but he went to the fight healthy and he broke his foot in the fight and that doesn't count. Sort of like if you get KO'd in a fight, that doesn't count. Now if you go to the fight with a concussion, it counts, but if you get KO'd in the fight, it doesn't count.
He went to the fight healthy and was kicking me and I checked all his kicks with my knee and he broke his foot. That's why I wanted everybody to reach out to me because he didn't enter the fight with a broken foot. He got injured during the fight.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): This isn't the first time Palhares has had excuses for his losses either. He claimed Nate Marquardt was greasing when he couldn't get a good grip on his leg. Do you think he had trouble accepting defeat?
Hector Lombard: Yeah, everybody knows he was saying before this fight that the preparation for this fight was the best he ever had, that he was in the best shape of his life and there was no way he was going to lose this fight. Now he's coming out with the excuses again.
When they asked me what my preparation was like before my last fight against Tim Boetsch, I said it was okay. I didn't say I had the best preparation, the best training camp, I felt like I was in the best shape of my life, whatever. I just said I felt okay. He went ahead and was saying how good he was feeling, how good the energy was around him and stuff like that and now you see what he's saying.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Did you feel like the broken foot was almost karma for him after all the injuries he's inflicted on his opponents throughout his career?
Hector Lombard: You're exactly right. It's karma. He intentionally breaks people's foot, intentional breaks people's arms, intentional. He knows that people tap but after people tap, he still pulls and is breaking and ripping their legs and their arms out and it's unreal. I don't understand. If you look at most of his fights in Abu Dhabi, the guys after they tap, he's still breaking and ripping their legs apart. And now, I believe it's karma for all the stuff he's done in the past, coming back to him.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): In your fight against Palhares, you looked really explosive, powerful and quick. Did you feel like this was the Hector Lombard at 100 percent, who's not entering a fight injured, that that's the guy the UFC paid for?
Hector Lombard: Yeah, I didn't have excuses for this fight. I felt great. My preparation was really good. I was surrounded by people that love me and everybody was encouraging me. It was a great feeling. I love to fight in Australia. That was one thing weighing in my favor and I'm really happy with my performance.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): UFC is planning to come to Australia at least once every year. If you had it your way, would you make sure to fight in Australia every time they go there?
Hector Lombard: Of course. On this card, I wasn't even going to fight on it but I begged the UFC to put me on and I have to thank the UFC for giving me the opportunity. I'm very happy.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): After the fight, you mentioned you wanted to fight both Michael Bisping and Mark Munoz. Those are guys that have had negative things to say about you since you signed with the UFC, is that your primary motivation for wanting to fight them?
Hector Lombard: Of course. I never talk bad about any fighter so anybody I would like to fight is because they said something. They're trying to be like Chael Sonnen. I'm just getting irritated that they're acting like Chael Sonnen. Now it's fashionable to talk about me or other guys. If the Mark Munoz or Bisping fights happen, it would be a dream come true for me.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Do you feel like Sonnen is a bad influence on MMA, with some fighters trash talking more or stuff like that?
Hector Lombard: I'll say one thing, I believe Chael Sonnen is funny. All the stuff that he does, he comes out with some funny stuff. I don't think he's a bad influence in MMA. He created a style that no one had before but I believe the rest of fighters that try to copy him are a joke. They need to come up with something different. You can't copy a guy who's already come up with something original. I think Chael Sonnen is funny. I don't think he's a bad influence on MMA but Bisping is. He spits on people and stuff like that. That's my opinion.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Bisping thinks he's getting the next title shot if he beats Vitor Belfort in his next fight. If you had your way, would you rather force him to have to fight you first?
Hector Lombard: It depends on what the UFC's plans are. If he gets a title shot after the Belfort fight, good for him. If he gets the shot, win or lose, I still want a piece of him. Let's make that fight happen.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Before your UFC debut they were building you up as a title contender. Do you feel like you're back to the same level now after the knockout of Palhares?
Hector Lombard: I don't want to rush things. I will take it one fight at a time and we'll go from there. If it's gonna happen, it's gonna happen.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You didn't come out of your fight against Palhares with any injuries, so if all goes well, would you like to get a fight quick in 2013?
Hector Lombard: Yeah, yeah. For me, I'm going to spend the holidays for a moment with my family, my mom who's in America with me but I'll start training again in January and I want to get a fight out of the way early in 2013.
So what do you think?
Does Lombard have a point about Palhares' post-fight excuses? Would you like to see him get that fight against Bisping or is he reaching too far at this point?
Hector Lombard would like to thank his Australian fans who helped him get to the UFC, his trainers, American Top Team and he'd like to wish everyone at MMAmania a happy holiday and a Merry Christmas. You can follow him on Twitter @HectorLombard.