Dana White was feeling generous last night as he tweeted two big fight announcements in replies to fans.
UFC new buy Hector Lombard will make his debut against American hero Brian Stann, with MMAJunkie reporting that the card will feature on the UFC on Fox card this August.
Lombard has been on a pretty incredible run, unbeaten in 25 fights, since his 2006 loss to Gegard Mousasi. Fighting in various Australian promotions and for Bellator in the US, some commentators have suggested that that run consists of quite a few easy fights. Having been signed to the UFC, speculation was rife as to where the Cuban would fit into the middleweight division. The answer is that the UFC clearly think highly of him. Brian Stann is a fighter they would love to get towards a title shot and the winner of this fight would likely be one more fight away from getting one. One Lombard it is a chance to fight a top fighter who has been testing himself against the best the UFC has to offer and for fans to see how good he really is.
In the same evening, Dana tweeted Shogun Rua’s next opponent too. He will be facing Alexander Gustaffson’s latest victim, Thiago Silva in a fight which should go down at UFC 149.
Rua is coming off of a debatable decision loss to Dan Henderson in last year’s fight of the year. Some people have claimed this is an easy fight for Rua to get himself back to winning ways with. I feel like it is a test for both fighters to see whether they still have what it takes to hang with the better fighters in the light heavyweight division. Rua is 4-4 in his last 8 fights, although all those fighters were UFC champions. If he is to show he is deserving of another fight against a top contender, he needs to show he can beat the fighters just below the elite pack. Silva finds himself in a similar position, having lost 3 of his last 5, albeit to stiff competition.
All in all, this pair of fights represent some pretty astute match making. Roll on the summer.