In tonight’s featured “super fight”, Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard was to take on arguably one of his toughest tests to date in former Icon Sport titleholder and UFC veteran Falaniko Vitale.
There’s a lot of pressure for the Bellator titleholders, as none of them have faltered in non-title bouts, going a perfect 9-0 before tonight’s event.
And though the bout began in less than exciting fashion, it ended the same way Lombard ends most of his fights–with an abrupt and very fast knockout.
Hector, a product of American Top Team, has been asking to face only the best of the best out there. Though he’s already stayed out his welcome in Bellator, Lombard will continue to prove to the masses that he’s every bit the world beater that he’s developed into.
Evidence enough would be his now impressive knockout win, though the beginning of the bout indicated otherwise.
In the first two-rounds, both Niko and Hector circled one another for the full ten-minutes, sizing each other up and looking to counter each other’s counter shots. Both men were waiting for the other to over commit, however the most action that came in the first few frames was a late takedown in part of Lombard, though it was anything but effective.
In the final round, the two men sensed the urgency of putting an exclamation point in the third after two closely contested snoozers. As soon as the Hawaiian over extended himself on a takedown attempt, Lombard stepped back and scored a devastating right-hand on the chin. Niko hit the deck, quickly stood back up but his legs wouldn’t keep him there. Niko made one more trip back to the mat before the referee finally stepped in to call a halt to the bout.
One punch was the difference and just like that, Hector scored yet another knockout win and extends his streak to 18 in-a-row and is undefeated in his last 23-bouts (his lone blemish has been a draw opposite of Kyle Noke in July of 2007).
What else is there for Hector in the middleweight class in Bellator? If he wants a challenge, maybe he should drop back down to his more natural weight of 170-pounds, but if he choses to remain as a 185-pounder, he should be seeking a new stomping grounds as Bellator will not be able to provide him with the type of challenges that he needs.