Hector Lombard file photo: Dave Mandel
MIAMI -- Unlike his recent victories, which have come by submission or TKO, Bellator Fighting Championships middleweight titleholder Hector Lombard defeated Joey Gorczynski by unanimous decision in a lackluster performance at G-Force Fights “Bad Blood 3” at the American Airlines Arena.
Lombard chased after Gorczynski throughout the first round as he sought to knock out the Oklahoma-based fighter early. But Lombard, who fed off “Hector” chants, was met with competition as his opponent wasn’t scared to land kicks on the champion himself. The American Top Team member did land some vicious body blows, but did little damage.
In the second round, Gorczynski opened up by connecting with a knee and right hook, but achieved minimal damage on Lombard, who last tasted defeat in November 2006 against Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi. Later, Lombard was warned for landing strikes to the back of his opponent’s head.
The final chapter of the bout surprised Lombard and the crowd. Gorczynski rocked Lombard with a kick-right hook combo that brought the Cuban judo national champion to the ground. However, the champ recovered and got control by landing elbows and punches to his opponent’s ribs.
All three judges sided with Lombard for his twelfth victory in a row. However, the crowd booed the 32-year-old Cuban-born judoka’s performance several times during the match.
In a shocking result, Bellator veteran Jorge Masvidal lost to Luis Palomino by split decision in the evening’s co-main event.
Masvidal, who had rebounded from his ballyhooed submission loss to Toby Imada with back-to-back victories, was met by the aggressor Palomino. The colorful Palomino started the fight by taking several kicks to the patient Masvidal. Towards the end of the round, Masvidal landed a right knee that left Palomino shaky. Both fighters gave each other a hard look as they walked to their corners.
In the second round, Masvidal connected with a jab, while Palomino countered with a left hook. While in the clinch, Masvidal landed a couple of knees and a jab, which didn’t affect his opponent. Palomino answered back by taking more kicks.
Palomino looked to win the fight by opening the third round with several kicks that hit Masvidal. However, after a lack of action, the referee broke both fighters in the clinch. With 20 seconds left on the clock, Masvidal went for a single-leg takedown and worked from half guard, where he landed strikes. The blows weren’t enough to defeat his opponent and win the judges’ decision.
An irate Masvidal said he felt like he won the battle.
“I didn’t know low kicks and running won the fight,” said Masvidal in a post-fight interview. “Look at my face; I am just as pretty as when I went in.”
The card also included WEC veteran Jonathan Brookins, who came out on top against Yosdenis Cedeno by unanimous decision.
The third round opened in a slugfest, but later slowed down as both fighters danced around the cage waiting for the right moment to strike. Cedeno connected with several kicks, but barely had an impact on Brookins. With less than a minute on the clock, the fight was fought on the ground with little action taken by both men, which upset the crowd.
Finally, Rene “Level” Martinez (3-0), backyard brawler turned professional fighter, remains undefeated after picking up a unanimous decision victory over Christian Pacheco.
In other bouts:
Felix Lopez def. Manny Reyes Jr. -- Unanimous Decision
Alex Caceres def. Jahmal McLennan -- TKO (Punches) 2:48 R3
Chris Silva def. David Brown -- Unanimous Decision
Mario Vargas def. Andres Rybacki -- Split Decision
Danny Chaves def. Nelson Lopez -- Unanimous Decision