Anne-Marie Sorvin-US PRESSWIRE
Facing an opponent who many consider to have a not-so fan-friendly style in Yushin Okami, former Bellator champion Hector Lombard is worried his UFC on FUEL TV 8 bout against "Thunder" could be a snoozer, which in turn may lead to a release from the UFC.
While Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight Hector Lombard is usually known for producing brawls that end in a highlight reel knockout, the Cuban is concerned his UFC on FUEL TV 8 bout against Yushin Okami will be boring, which could lead to his release from the organization.
Okami is a smothering wrestler who dominates his opponents by either overpowering them in the clinch or dragging them to the ground and suffocating with his outstanding top control. As seen by his seven UFC decision victories and zero post-fight bonuses, "Thunder" is a fighter who has no problem making a bout ugly in order to get a win.
Lombard, though, does not share that same mindset. The judoka wants to produce some serious violence when he steps in the cage against Okami, but is fearful the Japanese he could be a victim of Okami's grinding style on Saturday night (March 2, 2013).
Here's what Lombard told MMA Junkie this week in Japan:
"(Okami)'s extremely strong, and he has a long reach. It's going to be fun. He's going to come and hug me. I don't want to be hugged, so I've got to punch him,"
Punching Okami sounds like a sound strategy for Lombard, especially considering that's what he is best at.
With that said, "Lightning" is still not entirely confident the bout will be a barnburner. But after a less than thrilling UFC debut against Tim Boetsch last summer, Lombard cannot afford another dull performance.
With the talk of the town being how the UFC needs to cut roughly 100 fighters from its roster, the 35-year-old believes that if Okami can implement his style, the fight could, "become boring, and then [I'll] get cut because you're boring. I don't want to do that. I want to go out there and punch him and be exciting. I don't care if I get KO'd. I just want to punch him left and right."
Honest words from the American Top Team product.
Do you think Okami will be able to neutralize Lombard's style and avoid the big power punches? Or is Lombard going to hand Okami his third loss due to strikes in his past five fights?
Let us know in the comments section below.