returned to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) tonight (Sat., Jan. 3, 2015) for the first time in six years, taking on Cuban crusher, , in the pay-per-view (PPV) opener inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
And he was unsuccessful.
Lombard -- who was undefeated (2-0) since hisdebut -- immediately pressed the action as Burkman tried to circle away. Burkman landed a nice punch in the first flurry to slow down Lombard and make him think twice about coming in again.
Burkman landed some nice kicks early and looked super comfortable against his terrifying opponent. Lombard slowed his stalk walk as a result and began to pick his punches better ... and with better success. The pace slowed considerably with 90 seconds remaining in the first, with Lombard landing a few solid shots as it came to a close.
Nonetheless, Burkman survived and made it a close round, closer than anyone probably would have predicted given Lombard's historically powerful starts.
Burkman started out the second stanza with a nice kick to the midsection, and shortly thereafter, the pair exchanged wild punches in a furious exchange. Lombard appeared to get the better of it, with Burkman bleeding and wounded up against the fence once the fists stopped flying.
Lombard continued to blast him along the cage as Burkman invited him in for more, hands down. In fact, Burkman continued to walk away from Lombard, cool and collected, as if he were trying to set a trap. He never sprung it, though, absorbing a ton of punishment heading into the third and final round.
Burkman started the third looking for a takedown, but the former Olympian reversed and was able to score one of his own. In half guard, Lombard blasted Burkman with short elbows before working into side control position. Burkman, however, scrambled to his feet midway through the round.
Unfortunately for him, Lombard landed several uppercuts and crosses that clearly hurt Burkman, but he managed to somehow remain upright and fire back. Lombard continued to unload as Burkman, now limping from several un-checked leg kicks, winged tired punches in response.
The fight ultimately went to the judges scorecards, with Lombard getting the nod on all three judges scorecards (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).