Hector Lombard (left) has won 20 consecutive bouts. | Photo: Keith Mills
Hector Lombard was not surprised by outcome of the welterweight tournament final between Alexander Shlemenko and Vitor Vianna at Bellator 57. A few days prior to the bout, the Bellator Fighting Championships middleweight title holder told Sherdog.com he expected Shlemenko to get the victory.
“Styles make fights, and I believe Vianna doesn’t have the tools to beat Shlemenko,” he said.
The Russian striker did not disappoint, earning a unanimous decision over Vianna to become the promotion’s second two-time tournament champion. The win sets up a rematch of a Bellator 34 title fight between Lombard and Shlemenko. The RusFighters Sport Club product dropped a five-round decision to Lombard that night and is the only man to go the distance with the Cuban in his last seven contests. That is something the American Top Team standout plans to rectify in their next meeting.
“I’m gonna finish him in a really beautiful fashion,” Lombard said. “Last time that I fought, I had the flu; I felt really sick. I was vomiting backstage. I had headaches. I believe [in] myself this time that I’m gonna finish him.”
Given the circumstances of their first encounter, Lombard knew he needed a quick finish to avoid a drawn-out fight. His illness did not allow for that to happen.
“I tried to put him away in the first round, but it didn’t happen,” said Lombard, who blasted through Trevor Prangley in a non-title catchweight bout at Bellator 58. “I tried to stay there and have a smart fight. I believe that I won’t be sick for the next fight, and I’m gonna come up with a good win.”