A highly anticipated middleweight scrap between Hector Lombard and Yushin Okami took place at Saturday’s UFC on FUEL TV 8 event in Okami’s home country of Japan and the bout lived up to the excitement you would expect from fighters nicknamed “Thunder” and “Lightning.”
Lombard came out swinging for the fences in the first thirty seconds of the bout before Okami caught his leg and completed a big single leg takedown. Lombard wasn’t down for long after grabbing an underhook and returning to his feet. Lombard continued to put everything into his punches, but his over commitment left openings for Okami to get the fight back to the canvas.
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Okami was able to win the first round by smothering Lombard against the cage with dominating control.
The south paws immediately went to the center of the octagon to start the second-round and Lombard used a more calculated stand up game. Lombard was still throwing heaters, but he wasn’t as careless or sloppy with his punches.
While Lombard was adding more feints and movement, Okami was effectively working the jab and landed multiple strikes straight down the pipe before scoring another takedown and using his size to wear on Lombard. Lombard’s takedown defense is impressive, so Okami’s ability to complete the takedowns says a lot about the work he has done with Chael Sonnen in Oregon.
Okami finished off the second round by mounting Lombard and landing some elbows and short punches.
Lombard entered the final frame knowing he was likely down on the judges scorecards and he came out with controlled aggression. Lombard was able to hurt Okami early in the third and continued to pressure Okami throughout the first two minutes of the round. Okami and Lombard made their way to the mat with Lombard in top position.
With Okami scrambling and attempting to get back to his feet, Lombard was able to continue landing powerful shots to the side of the Japanese fighters head. Lombard was dominating the third-round, but needed a finish to earn the victory.
The two middleweights made their way back to their feet, but both men were visibly exhausted and the bout went back to the mat and Okami was clinging to Lombard in an effort to slow the pace and survive the round.. Lombard was unable to take advantage of his opportunity and didn’t do enough to finish the fight.
When the judges scores were read, Okami was victorious via split decision.