Esther Lin for MMAFighting
Not one to take it easy and look for easy fights, Hector Lombard says he is only interested in the "hardest" match ups the UFC can offer him to prove he is worth of vying for the middleweight title later this year. And he isn't afraid to call people out.
The win garnered the stocky middleweight some much-needed redemption after having his 20-fight win streak snapped courtesy of Tim Boetsch at UFC 149 in what marked the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) debut for "Lightning."
It was a first impressions that didn't sit too well with disappointed (and booing) Canadian fans, as well as UFC President Dana White, who summed it up by saying the entire event "sucked."
Now, with two fights inside the Octagon under his belt, Lombard isn't looking to take it easy and coast.
If anything, the former Bellator middleweight champion wants to turn it up a notch, saying he only wants to take on the toughest 185-pound fighters available to prove his worth for a title shot later this year.
And, he isn't afraid to start naming names as was the case in his recent interview with News.com.au:
"Let's cut the bullshit, let's be honest, they won't give me Anderson Silva. We have to be realistic and talk about things that might happen. I've got to take one fight at a time and one-by-one I can take them out and by the end of the year people are going to say he deserves the title shot. I want it to just be my hard work. I want people to say that no one deserves the title more than him. I just don't want to fight guys that they say, 'Oh that was a easy match-up for him.' I want to fight the hardest match-up. I wish they (the UFC) could go now and make a pool of the toughest guys at 84kg that no one wants to fight and I want to fight that guy. I want to fight who the UFC and the people believe is the toughest guy out there. Not many people want to fight Palhares. Before we had the fight people were saying: 'Hector is gone, Palhares is taking Hector's leg back to Brazil.' I would like to fight Chris Weidman, he's a big name. I've been asking for (Yushin) Okami, I've been asking for Okami but they (UFC) won't give him to me because of his chin. Okami has no chin, he can't cop the punches. And where's Jake Shields? He's been around forever, he beat Dan Henderson. Those are the guys I want to fight.''
"Shango" has already scratched "Toquinho" off his list and will soon get the chance to test his "Thunder" chin theory -- he is set to square off against Yushin Okami at UFC on FUEL TV 8 when the promotion heads back to Saitama, Japan, on March 3, 2013 (read more on the match up here).
A win over Okami can set him up nicely for another big name fight on the road to his much-desired title shot, quite possibly against Chris Weidman, who is widely considered to be the current front-runner to challenge for "The Spider" throne.
What's your take Maniacs? How many "big name" victories does Lombard need to justify his shot at the UFC title?
Keep in mind, he isn't afraid to work for it and fight for his shot at gold against the best of the best.