Ready or not, "Lightning" is coming.
The return of one of the 170-pound division's heaviest of hitters is upon us as former Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard takes on No. 9-ranked Neil Magny in the UFC Fight Night 85 co-main event tomorrow night (Sat., March 19, 2016) inside Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Brisbane, Australia.
The powerful Cuban-Australian fighter will compete in the Octagon for the first time since testing positive for a banned substance following his unanimous-decision win (now a No Contest) over Josh Burkman at UFC 182 in Jan. 2015.
Over the course of the last year, Lombard missed out on the Conor McGregor frenzy, which saw the boisterous Irishman hoist gold twice, before packing up his featherweight suitcase to take aim at the welterweight collective.
Having witnessed McGregor's first 'L' in UFC, Lombard offered up his thoughts on the former's recent high profile tilt (watch it) with Nate Diaz at UFC 196.
"That's nonsense, that doesn't make sense to me. He's got no place in that weight class. 155 should be alright, but not 170," Lombard told Submission Radio.
"Notorious" will now head back down to 145 pounds to defend his strap opposite familiar foe Jose Aldo, or Frankie Edgar, effectively cutting all ties to the 170-pound division for the time being.
Lombard will move forward against Elevation Fight Team's Magny, who is red-hot of late. The Colorado-based fighter is 9-1 in his last 10 outings and owns recent wins over Kelvin Gastelum and Erick Silva.
American Top Team's Lombard doesn't anticipate that much of a competition when he holds court inside the Octagon against Magny. His confidence comes from the fact he's faced and defeated tough men before, like Jake Shields and Rousimar Palhares.
With a victory over Magny, the 38-year-old Lombard hopes to fight upwards of 5-6 times this year to gain ground and make his case for a welterweight title shot. He would even be open to moving back up to his previous home of middleweight for the right contest, which includes a desired rematch with ex-Pride FC foe Gegard Mousasi.
Lombard likes his odds against Magny, do you?
For continuous coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 85 card, including up-to-the-minute live results and play-by-play, click here and here.