Bellator champion Hector Lombard signs with the UFC

On Tuesday, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney confirmed the middleweight has signed a multi-fight contract to join the UFC.

Lombard, along with former lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez, were the first two fighters Rebney signed when he began the promotion in 2008. Because of their long bond, Rebney said he felt he owed it to Lombard to make a quick decision.

“There was no reason to make him wait,” he said. “We got the information. We got the very long UFC contract, looked at the data, did the analysis, and made our decision.”

Lombard, who is 31-2-1 overall with 1 no contest, went 8-0 with seven knockouts during his run in Bellator, capturing his championship in June 2009 with a fourth-round TKO of Jared Hess. He also successfully defended the belt in a unanimous decision win over Alexander Shlemenko, the only time in his last eight fights his opponent made it to the judges’ scorecards.

“He was a great fighter here, and there’s no doubt in my mind he’ll be a great fighter when he goes to the UFC,” Rebney said. “I’ve said for a long time he’s the best middleweight in the world, and I think he’ll win the UFC title in short order.”

Over the weekend, UFC president Dana White confirmed his interest in Lombard, saying, “I like him. I like him a lot.”

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