Lombard was a UFC title-contender before ever stepping foot in the Octagon, winning middleweight gold in Bellator and boasting an impressive winning streak featuring finishes of some respected veterans. Many fans viewed his bout with Boetsch as a means for showcasing his skills en route to a crack at then-champ Anderson Silva, but “The Barbarian” would go on to prove their predictions premature. Boetsch used his size advantage to control Lombard against the cage, mixing in some dirty boxing techniques, and managed to avoid being blasted too often. The performance wasn’t pretty but ultimately effective based on Boetsch getting the decision nod.
There may be two title-fights on tap in Toronto this Saturday night at UFC 165 but the mainstream consensus seems to be both match-ups already have foregone conclusions with champions Jon Jones and Renan Barao each retaining his divisional belt. However, the way pairings break down on paper doesn’t necessarily dictate the way action unfolds in the Octagon, and any fan with an ounce of experience watching MMA understands there are no guarantees when it comes to victory. As such, it’s very possible contenders Alexander Gustafsson and Eddie Wineland could shock the world and end up with a hand raised at the event. If so, they certainly wouldn’t be the first UFC fighters to pull off an upset in Canada. (Photos by USA Today Sports Images)
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