Hector Lombard, Cuban-Born MMA Champ, Says Miami's Cubans Don't Support Him

Categories: Sports
Cuban jujitsu champ Hector Lombard
​Hector Lombard insists he is getting no love from his compatriots in South Florida. Born in Matanzas, Cuba, Bellator's middleweight champ is a fast-rising star in professional mixed martial arts. Yet he is not getting any recognition from South Florida's Cuban community, Lombard laments as he prepares for his Saturday-night headlining match at the Hard Rock Live in Hollywood. "I have more fans in Australia," Lombard says. "I don't feel the love from Cubans in Miami like you see for [boxing champ] Yuri Gamboa and Cuban MMA fighters born here."

A 185-pound brute with a black belt in Brazilian jujitsu, Lombard has won 32 of his 34 professional matches since he defected from Cuba while participating in an amateur contest in Queensland in 2006.

Australia has been his primary home ever since, although he lives part-time in Boca Raton, which is a world away from Hialeah and Miami, the most Cuban-American cities in America.

Lombard's professional career began with the Pride Fighting Championship, where he notched the only two losses on his record -- both by decision. No one has knocked Lombard out or beaten him with a submission hold. Meanwhile, Lombard has won 16 bouts by knockout and seven each by submission and decision.

Last week, Bellator Fighting Championships founder Bjorn Rebney bragged to MMA reporters that Lombard was the best middleweight in the sport. The only fighter who might possibly defeat him is UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva, Rebney boasted.

During a brief phone interview, Lombard wasn't shy about his championship pedigree. The jujitsu master told Riptide he was annoyed by Rebney's comments. "I don't believe Silva can hang with me."

Then he spoke candidly about not having a Cuban fan base following him. 

While Brazilian fighters receive unequivocal support from their countrymen at South Florida MMA events, the Cuban equivalent doesn't exist, Lombard groused. "I don't have any Cubans on my Facebook fan page. There are no Cubans posting good luck comments on the MMA messageboards and blogs. I wish they would support me more."

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Hard Rock Live

1 Seminole Way, Hollywood, FL

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i think the truth of the matter is that their isn't much of a following for non-UFC MMA organizations. in the cuban, cuban-american community, probably even less so. cuba and cuban-americans have a long established link with boxing, therefore, they are more versed in yuri gamboa's fights than anything Bellator related.

when local spanish language news starts reporting MMA in a serious manner, i think lombard's stock will rise here in south florida.

John Henry Reynolds I
John Henry Reynolds I

Ha, I know at least one Lombard fan that will be there sitting cageside reporting the fights. Its hard to see where he stacks up against the rest of the middleweights of the world because he hasn't fought for the UFC yet. Either way I highly doubt he could last 2 rounds with The Spider. 


And i know two, both cubans, my buddy and I.Unfortunately we don't live in South Florida. I seriously think he can beat anyone in the middleweight division, time will tell. I really wish you'd have more support from your "paisanos", but you know what, thare will always be at least dos paisanos viendo todas y cada una de tus peleas y gritando: "Dale Hector, revientale la cabeza!!!!!!"Ah, Hector, hace dos años estuve en cuba, y alla la gente te conocia.

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