Hector Lombard was in complete control of his fight with Jake Shields from the opening bell at UFC 171 tonight, but fought somewhat conservatively en-route to a unanimous decision victory.
Lombard whips in a big left hand to start this one, but luckily for Shields it misses. But then Lombard takes Shields for a ride with a great takedown.
Shields tries to engage but falls to the mat. Lombard lets him up. Shields lands a kick. Lombard lands a big punch in return and Shields has to cover up.
Lombard engages again and Shields tries, but fails to clinch up. Lombard swings for the fences and Shields avoids and looks for a takedown, but it’s almost like Lombard is an immovable object and he can’t take him down.
Lombard clinches against the cage and before they seperate he lands a hook that opens up a cut to the left side of Shields eye.
As expected Lombard looks to be giving Shields a really torrid time on the feet so far and is struggling with the takedown attempts. As I say that Shields dives in for another takedown, almost in desperation but fails again.
Lombard punishes him by unleashing a flurry of strikes and Shields is hurt. He goes head first into a takedown that never looked like being successful. Shields stays down on the mat and Lombard gets on top and starts to unleash punches.
Shields looked for a minute as if he might want out of this fight, but the cobwebs clear a bit and he closes his guard and tries to weather the storm as much as he can. Lombard gives him a little respite which he greatly receives and makes it to the end of the round.
Shields with a little kick to start as he tries to keep his range. High kick blocked. Lombard catches him with a punch and swings and misses with a bomb.
More offense from Lombard and then slams him with a big takedown. He’s in side control, but Shields gets him to half guard, then full guard.
A couple of punches from Lombard, but nothing major. He seems happy just to have the position and isn’t going for the finish, so the referee stands them up.
Lombard being patient on the feet as they reset, looking for his moment to pounce. Shields with a few light leg kicks.
A big left hand whiffs by Shields head and he tries a takedown that Lombard stuffs. Shields on his back now and lands an upkick to Lombard’s body then slowly gets up.
Lombard’s slowed down a lot in this round, though he doesn’t look all that tired. Shields firing out the jab, but more in order to keep range than really land anything.
Lombard closing distance and another beautiful, powerful judo takedown follows. He doesn’t offer much again on the ground and the round comes to a close.
Shields with a few kicks, but there’s really no danger in them. Shields tries some punches that miss and Lombard goes to the body.
Kick from Lombard lands to the groin of Shields and forces a brief stoppage. Back to it they go and Shields ducks in for the takedown and once again it fails. Lombard instead uses a trip to easily take him down.
Same old story on the ground though as Lombard use the takedown as a chance to rest rather than attack and that causes them to be stood up again with half the round to go.
Another sprawl stops Shields takedown again and Shields goes to his back. Shields face is smeared with blood from that early cut to his left eye.
Again Lombard is just controlling Shields – pretty much giving the former Strikeforce champion a taste of his own medicine since that’s usually his M.O.
Back to the feet the referee sends them with a minute to go. Not much happening until the final 15 seconds when Lombard goes in for a takedown and Shields sinks in a guillotine choke. He’s trying to finish this fight, but there’s not enough time left and Lombard survives.
No real doubt about the winner here, Lombard earns a unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28), but you can’t help but feel he could have produced a finish here if he’d really gone after his opponent.