With the UFC welterweight division now wide open with the exodus of former champion Georges St-Pierre, Jake Shields and Hector Lombard stepped into the Octagon opposite each other at UFC 171 on Saturday night with the winner looking to position himself in the thick of title talk.
The fight looked to be all Lombrd’s from the opening horn, as he tossed Shields to the mat in the American Airlines Center in Dallas early and hammerfisted him. Shields quickly escaped back to his feet, but Lombard fired a left hand that put him on the mat again.
The first round played out with much of the same, Lombard stuffing Shields’ takedown attempts, and utilizing his powerful striking to put him in trouble on a number of occasions.
Lombard slowed a bit in the second stanza, but still stuffed Shields’ attempts to put him on the mat, and then blasted him with power punches. Lombard also turned the tables tossing Shields to the mat on occasion, including a beautifully executed judo throw in the final minute.
Shields needed a home run in the final round, but Lombard stymied him at every turn. Lombard couldn’t find the power to put Shields away, but after dominating all three rounds, he didn’t need to.
With Lombard running away with the fight, Shields finally caught him with an arm-in guillotine in the waning seconds. The choke was deep, but it was too little, too late, as the clock ran out on Shields’ opportunity to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
Lombard walked out of the Octagon with a unanimous decision victory, moving his mark to 2-0 as a UFC welterweight, following up a win over Nate Marquardt.
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