Besides both being former champions, Hector Lombard (32-4-1, 18 KOs) and Nate Marquardt (32-12-2, 15 submissions) have a few other things in common heading into UFC 166 set for Oct. 19, at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
A loss for either man is more than enough to send them packing from the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Lombard, a former Bellator middleweight champion, couldn’t have had any more momentum heading into his UFC debut against Tim Boetsch, sporting a 31-2-1 professional MMA record with 20 consecutive victories and a 25-fight unbeaten streak. However, an overly-cautious gameplan ended up costing him what should have been his first victory inside the Octagon, losing to Tim Boetsch via split decision, even though a decent amount of folks scored the matchup in his favor.
Hector fared better during his next fight, walking right through Rousimar Palhares at UFC on FX 6. He went back into conservative-mode during his third fight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship against Yushin Okami, failing to get much done until the latter rounds of the fight when it was too little, too late, losing via split decision.
Marquardt, on the other hand, revitalized his MMA career when he dropped down to the welterweight division last year, knocking out Tyron Woodley during his 170-pound/Strikeforce debut, snagging the promotion’s then-vacant welterweight title while thoroughly entertaining fans.
Unfortunately for Nate, he hasn’t won a fight since.
Marquardt had a hard time imposing his will during his next outing against Tarec Saffiedine, who he lost to via unanimous decision, losing the Strikeforce welterweight title. Things weren’t any better during his return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship at UFC 158, getting knocked out three minutes into his tilt against Jake Ellenberger.
Clearly, Lombard and Marquardt have had their share of struggles inside the cage lately; meaning motivation won’t be an issue for either man at UFC 166.
Lombard was a physical specimen at 185 pounds, and he’ll be extremely tough for any welterweight to handle if the cut down to 170 pounds doesn’t leave him dehydrated and drained. Hector is a solid grappler who hits really hard; attributes shared with Ellenberger, who made quick work out of Marquardt.
Without a doubt, Marquardt will have his hands full at UFC 166, but it wouldn’t be wise to count him out. If Nate brings his A-Game like he did against Woodley, expect fireworks when these two meet inside the Octagon.