As expected, Bellator’s long-time middleweight champion Hector Lombard has signed for the UFC.

Lombard’s existing deal with Bellator had come to an end and while the promotion still had a clause that would have allowed them to match any deal that the UFC offered him, they declined to do so as it didn’t fit in with their economic model.

It’s certainly a blow for Bellator as Lombard has been a lynchpin in their organization since his first fight back at Bellator 3 and amassed an overall 8-0 record during his time there.

Bellator’s loss is most definitely the UFC’s gain though, allowing them to bring in a legitimate new force into their 185lbs ranks. In total Lombard is currently on a remarkable 25 fight unbeaten run, including wins over current and former UFC fighters like Trevor Prangley, Brian Ebersole, Jesse Taylor, Joe Doerksen and James Te-Huna.

He’s also an exciting fighter with genuine knockout power, and mixed witha fiery temperament he’ll certainly bring a new spark to the upper reaches of the middleweight division.