Australia-based mixed martial arts promotion Cage Fighting Championship has announced via its official website that Hector Lombard, the promotion’s current middleweight champion, has signed with ProElite-owned Elite Xtreme Combat.
EliteXC has yet to confirm CFC’s announcement.
Lombard had previously been reported as signing a contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship and had been officially announced by the UFC as fighting Karo Parisyan at UFC 78 this past November. However, Lombard, a Cuban national who resides in Australia, was eventually replaced by Ryo Chonnan after visa issues prevented him from entering the United States.
Lombard, a renowned Judoka, is 15-2-1 and has competed for various international promotions during an MMA career that spans four years. Most notably, Lombard fought two bouts for the Pride Fighting Championships in Japan, compiling an 0-2 record. He lost a unanimous decision to Akihiro Gono in his debut for the promotion at Pride Bushido 11 in June of 2006. He then returned to Pride at Bushido 13 in November of 2006, losing in another unanimous decision, this time to Gegard Mousasi, the occasional striking coach for Fedor Emelianenko.
No indication of a start date with EliteXC for Lombard was made in the CFC announcement, however, he will make at least one final title defense for CFC when he faces Fabiano Copoani at CFC 4 on May 23.
It is unknown whether Lombard will be allowed to fight in the U.S. after having been denied entry late last year. It is possible that he has or will become a naturalized citizen of Australia. It’s also possible that he could fight for one of ProElite’s international brands.