by MMAWeekly.com Staff
Reigning Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard will next compete in a special non-title fight with former NFL player Herbert “Whisper” Goodman as part of Bellator 24 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on Aug. 12.
Lombard (26-2-1) puts his 14-fight winning streak on the line against Goodman (15-8), who was a running back and kick returner for the Green Bay Packers in 2000 and 2001 before transitioning to MMA in late 2006.
Lombard was last in action at Bellator 18 on May 13 when he recorded a 6-second highlight-reel knockout of UFC veteran Jay Silva, snatching the Bellator record for fastest knockout in the process.
Lombard is currently scheduled to face Bellator Season 2 middleweight champion Alexander “Storm” Shlemenko (30-4) in a highly anticipated title defense later this fall.
“Hector Lombard is at the top of his game and one of the best middleweights in the world. There are very few fighters out there who want to fight him right now,” said Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “But Whisper Goodman is hungry for the challenge and he’s been through the battles both in the NFL and in MMA. I’m looking forward to watching how he matches up with Hector.”
Goodman, who was born and raised in South Florida, has notable pro wins over “The Ultimate Fighter 7″ veteran Dante Rivera and UFC standout Jordan Radev. He has a reputation as a no-nonsense fighter, having finished 13 of his 15 victories decisively via KO or TKO.
Admittedly excited about returning to fight Lombard in front of a hometown crowd, Goodman says he isn’t intimidated by his hulking opponent.
“I know he’s tough and I know he’s the Bellator champion, but I’ll fight anyone,” Goodman said. “This is a great opportunity for me so I’m just going to apply my game plan and take what he gives me.”
Lombard, for his part, said he is looking forward to another fight in his adopted home state of Florida, where he currently trains as a member of American Top Team.
“I’m looking forward to fighting in my home town, South Florida, where all my fans can come and watch,” Lombard said. “I appreciate the opportunity the Seminole Tribe and Bellator have given me. Herbert Goodman is a great athlete and will be a good opponent and it will be a great fight.”