When Hector Lombard hit the open market as a free agent in February 2012, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White opened his checkbook and started writing zeros until the right number was reached to lure "Shango" away from Bellator.
It was later reported that number was something like $700,000, $400,000 to sign and $300,000 per fight with pay-per-view (PPV) bonus points added on.
That's a lot of money to be paying any fighter, let alone an unproven draw who had never stepped foot inside the Octagon. Sure, he was 31-2-1 (1) and riding a 25-fight unbeaten streak going into his UFC debut but he would have to perform at an elite level to justify such a monster contract.
It didn't happen.
In fact, Lombard's debut against Tim Boetsch was one of the ugliest, plodding contests of his lengthy career. He failed to get off his punches, didn't fight with the kind of urgency and killer instinct that brought him notoriety, and ended up dropping a split decision. He redeemed himself somewhat in his next outing, earning a bizarre knockout over Brazilian head case Rousimar Palhares but turned around and disappointed once again in his very next fight.
That was just last night (Sat., March 2, 2013) on the main card of the UFC on FUEL TV 8: "Silva vs. Stann" event from the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, when Yushin Okami controlled and handled him for most of their middleweight mash-up.
That makes Lombard 1-2 in three UFC appearances. And considering all the cuts White has said the UFC will need to make over the next month or so -- up to 100 in total -- is "Lightning" on the chopping block?
During the UFC on FUEL TV 8 post-fight show, fellow middleweight Chael Sonnen went so far as to say the company should outright cut Lombard because it can no longer justify the size of his contract based on his performance inside the cage.
Agree or disagree?