Hector Lombard gradually wore down a game Josh Burkman with strikes tonight at UFC 182 to seal a unanimous decision victory.
Burkman circling on the outside to start. He suddenly looks to strike and connects with a right hand as Lombard unleashes an early flurry.
Right hook for Burkman wings past Lombard’s head. Burkman lands a right. Backing up he sprngs off the cage with a punch.
Lombard gets a takedown, but Burkman is right back up and lands a punch. Again Lombard comes off second best in an exchange in close, but he continues to stalk his opponent regardless.
Lombard connects with a hook and then unleashes a couple of hard leg kicks. Burkman with a kick of his own. He casually walks back and then tries a spinning kick that misses.
Kick from Lombard throws off a combination attempt from Burkman. Burkman tries a kick, but Lombard responds with punches. Burkman returns fire though.
Burkman lands a nice body shot. Hard leg kick from Lombard. Right hook from Lombard, but it’s blocked. Left hand lands from Lombard in an exchange.
Lombard looking to get aggressive to start round two. Burkman lands a nice body kick though and then another to follow.
Lombard lands a hard shot and Burkman bites down on his gumshield and responds with his own punches and they trade toe-to-toe.
Burkman backs up and looks a little wobbly, but then throws a nice punch that lands. Lombard continuing to press him and there’s another firefight in close with Lombard getting the better of it, but Burkman still staying competitive.
Burkman trying to catch Lombard off guard by occasionally backing away passively and then unleashing a hard strike.
Lombard remains aggressive and Burkman looks a bit tired, but may partially be just trying to bait his opponent into something. Probably a bit of both and he’s throwing caution to the wind at times by keeping his hands very low.
Lombard continues to pace himself though, pushing the action but not going all out for the finish and so this is headed for a third round.
Frantic scramble in the opening seconds of the final round and Lombard ends up on top in half guard. Lombard looking to pass and steadily gets to side control. Burkman scrambles up, and though Lombard stays with him at first he manages to break free.
Lombard clips Burkman with a strike and follows up with more. Burkman in trouble here, but just manages to survive the exchange.
Very brief stoppage due to a low blow to Burkman and as they get back to it Lombard is again threatening with punches. Burkman taking some deep breaths here – plenty of heart, but clearly running low on gas. He gets caught with a nice shot from Lombard.
Hard leg kick from Lombard and Burkman’s lead limb is a bit of mess from the damage he’s taken over three rounds of fighting.
There’s a final flurry in the last 10 seconds and Burkman gets clipped off-balance with Lombard’s final punch of teh contest.
No doubts about the winner here – Lombard gets the unanimous decision verdict from the judges (30-27 x2, 29-28).