Where does Hector Lombard rank among middleweights?

Hector Lombard extended his winning streak to 23 on Saturday night, prompting Spencer Kyte of HeavyMMA.com to wonder where the Bellator champ should fall among middleweight rankings.

How good is Hector Lombard?

Before you blurt out an answer, think through both sides of things. If you do, you’ll see that arriving at a decision that cannot be debated is a difficult task. Such is the life of the Bellator middleweight champion, and a number of potentially elite fighters competing outside of the Zuffa family.

There is a case for the Cuban judoka being one of the top middleweights in the sport, a 10-15 guy in the rankings, even maybe making it as high as 8-9 on some lists.

Lombard hasn’t lost since November 2006, a unanimous decision defeat to a then-unknown 21-year-old named Gegard Mousasi. Since then, the American Top Team product has won 22 of 23 fights, and 18-in-a-row with is victory Saturday night over Falaniko Vitale at Bellator 44. Of those 22 wins, Lombard has finished 17 of them, many in very impressive fashion.

In a sport where the best in the world lose from time-to-time, Lombard’s string of victories and four-plus-year unbeaten streak stands as evidence that the former Olympic competitor has a case for being considered one of the best 185-pound competitors in the sport.

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Ten Things Learned from UFC 129 in Toronto

Spencer Kyte of HeavyMMA.com outlines ten stories that emerged from UFC 129 at Toronto’s Rogers Centre on Saturday night.

Quoting Toronto’s Drake seems fitting in the wake of the UFC’s debut in his backyard, but also because the lyrics ring true for UFC 129; this was the greatest event in UFC history.

Plus, Drake was in the building.

The magnitude of this event will remain the benchmark for the organization for some time. It was the UFC’s first stadium show, and it was a resounding success both inside and outside of the cage.

Each of the first four fights ended with a finish, with Pablo Garza’s opening bout flying triangle choke earning Submission of the Night honors, and John Makdessi replacing Shonie Carter as the man attached to a spectacular spinning back fist knockout inside the Octagon.

When you add the 55,000 exhilarated fans who packed the Rogers Centre with the tremendous layout and outstanding production of the event, it will be hard to top this event. Of course, you can be sure that Dana White and the UFC will try, and after being blown away in Toronto, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them pull it off down the line.

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Ten things learned from Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley

HeavyMMA.com’s Specer Kyte points out the 10 things he learned from Saturday’s historic Stirkeforce: Diaz vs. Daley card in San Diego.

I had concerns about the main event falling short of expectations. Boy, was I wrong.

For three ticks shy of five minutes, these two went toe-to-toe, trading punishing blows and trying to put the other one away. Both men got rocked at different points in the frenetic first round, and even though they only used 1/5 of the allotted time, the fans still got what they came for and then some.

Whatever your feelings on the organization, you have to give Strikeforce their due: more often than naught, we’re treated to wildly exciting fights, and Saturday’s main event was no different.

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Melendez now the world’s best Lightweight?

Gilbert Melendez has been telling everyone who will listen that he’s the best lightweight in the world. After Saturday night’s stunning first-round finish of Tatsuya Kawajiri, HeavyMMA.com writes that he might just have a case.

SAN DIEGO — For the last year, Gilbert Melendez has been telling everyone who will listen that he’s the best lightweight in the world. After Saturday night’s stunning first-round finish of Tatsuya Kawajiri, he might just have a case.

Melendez, who came into the cage after taking a year off, brutalized Kawajiri from the opening bell using a crisp display of technique and power. Kawajiri is often called one of the toughest and more durable lightweights in the world, but he stood no chance against Melendez in the cage.

The Strikeforce lightweight champion also benefited greatly from the new Unified ruleset put into place after last month’s purchase of the promotion by rival organization Zuffa. After dropping Kawajiri to the mat, Melendez unleashed a savage elbow that finished Kawajiri off and propelled Melendez to new stardom in the new unified North American mixed martial arts world.

After the bout, Melendez issued a charismatic plea for a shot at the UFC champion.

“I am the best lightweight in the world, and I think it’s time for title versus title. I want the UFC champion. It’s time to make it happen,” Melendez said. The crowd roared their approval.

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UFC Fight Night 24: Ten Things We Learned

HeavyMMA.com’s Spencer Kyte breaks down the 10 things we learned from UFC Fight Night 24 on Saturday.

In the wake of Jon Jones’s tremendous rush to the top of the UFC light heavyweight division, a lot of people are expecting a similar quick climb for Davis. If his performance Saturday night is any indication, he’ll get there, but it shouldn’t be any time soon.

Davis is a tremendous talent with a very bright future, but he’s far from being a finished product. Earning a good win over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira is another step in the right direction, but showed that the former national champion’s striking is still a work in progress.

Some may frame his win Saturday night as a sign that the hype surrounding Davis is a little too much, but to me it as simply indicative of something Davis told me earlier in the week: he’s still green.

As he continues to develop, Davis will become a very dangerous part of the 205-pound division. I just hope people give him time to get there at his own pace.

Read the full list of 10.

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