Hector Lombard defends his performance at UFC 171: 'When you fight a guy like Jake Shields, you can't make a mistake'

Chris Hyde

But did failing to secure a finish cost him a crack at the crown?

Hector Lombard looked to be in complete control.

The artist formerly known as "Shango" was rag-dolling Jake Shields during their welterweight showdown on the pay-per-view (PPV) portion of last Saturday night's (March 15, 2014) UFC 171 main card inside American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.

So why didn't he go for the finish?

Probably because he knows the former Strikeforce middleweight champion is a wizard on the ground, one who has made a career out of capitalizing on mistakes from over-aggressive opponents, something Lombard was not willing to risk when a 170-pound title shot is within reach.

From the UFC 171 post-fight press conference (watch it):

"When you fight a guy like Jake Shields, you can't make a mistake, because he is going to capitalize. He's a very strong individual. He may not look like it, but when you get a hold of him, you can feel the strength. I feel like I was dominating every single area. A lot of people laughed when they scheduled me to fight him. They say, 'oh, it's gonna be an easy fight for Jake Shields,' but it wasn't."

Nobody is laughing now.

Lombard (34-4) has now won two straight and managed to secure a winning record inside the Octagon since first crossing over from Bellator in summer of 2012. After struggling at middleweight, the Olympian made the cut down to welterweight and has looked unstoppable.

But is he championship material?

That all depends on who you ask. UFC color commentator Joe Rogan was less-than-enthralled with the way "Lightning" struck in "Big D," but UFC President Dana White later said "he looked good."

Dominance is in the eye of the beholder.

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