Lombard: I used to be stupid about head trauma
UFC welterweight Hector Lombard is currently suspended for a year for a failed PED test vs. Josh Burkman at UFC 182. 'Showeather' had been scheduled to fight Rory MacDonald in April at UFC 186; Rory got a title shot instead, but came up short vs. Robbie Lawler.
However, Lombard is using the down time wisely, talking with Submission Radio, and keeping his name relevant. Lombard is not just trash talking, he soberly discussed head trauma in the sport, and what he has learned. Lombard was asked if he feels any side effects from the accumulation of head shots across multiple combat sports.
“I’m trying to hit and not be hit,” he said. “I was being stupid before. Like, five or four years ago I would go toe to toe and start sparring with heavyweights and try to beat each other up in sparring. But I have to be a bit smart, because you can [only] take so much. But before I was like a bit stupid. I would spar anybody, any heavyweight. I would spar Kickboxers, anyone. I used to spar with 'Carnage' [Nathan Corbette], I would spar with Mark Hunt. I would spar with anybody.
“I would spar with anyone. And now I become a bit smarter. I don’t want to spar with none of these heavy guys, you know? They definitely would end your career quick.”
“Mark Hunt, he was trying to knock me out one day. He couldn’t. That was the first time that we did [sparring]. Mighty Mo. I don’t know if you know him. Freaking guy is huge. He's about 330 pounds, maybe 350. He won the Taiwan championships. Huge. And I remember that he just wanted to knock me out and all of a sudden I came out with a jab and I dropped him. But he was kinda like, he wanted to hurt me. I remember with Josh Barnett, we were sparring for about an hour and something, and then he kind of like gave up. You know, stories like that. But I’m just lucky that I’m still going, because after all this hard sparring stuff, you know, I’m lucky to stay in the game.”
“Before, I sort of like was going for the knockout, I would always go for the KO. Now, because of the time I’ve been working on my ground game, I believe if it goes to the ground I'm not gonna let the guys stand up. I'm just gonna try and keep it on the floor and submit the guy.”
Lombard said he will not be in the 2016 Olympics, representing Australia in Judo.
“Unfortunately not,” he said. “Because next year I want to be focused on MMA, and it’s too soon. I have no time to go – even if I make it to Olympics, I don’t wanna just go to the Olympics, you know? I just wanna go and place for a medal or win it. My first Olympics, I competed like a year. I made the Olympic team in like a year and three months. So when I competed with those guys up there, I wasn’t ready because I made the Olympic team in less than a year and a half. So all those guys that I competed against, they had four years of preparation. So I don’t want it to happen to me again.”
“I compete a lot in MMA and I sit back again, definitely. I wanna do Judo and BJJ, I wanna do it all. I wanna to do Judo, I want to do MMA, I want to do BJJ. And not because I say it, because I can.”
Lombard can stray into trash talk with delight, but he was respectful of fellow ATT fighter and UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler.
“Look, it was a close fight, it was a close fight and the tougher guy won,” said Lombard. “He's just tougher. He’s a tough guy. I mean he imposes his will.”
“Robbie's gonna smash (Carlos Condit). Robbie's gonna smash him. Robbie's gonna smash Carlos.”
Johny Hendricks got trash rather respect from Lombard.
“Remember, at the end of the day this is entertainment.,” he began. “If you're just gonna be a blanket, no one wants to [see you fight], especially the Australian card. Australians, they want to see the toughness. It's such a big event. They don’t want to see a blanket … He did it after with the [Matt Brown] fight. He's just a blanket.”
Lombard was asked if Rory MacDonald may change his game after the brutal fight with Lawler.
“You might see a blanket,” he said.
However, Showweather was open to fighting the either the winner or the loser of Tyron Woodley vs. Johny Hendricks.
“Yeah I’m open,” he said. “Why not in Australia? Come on. You have to get me on in Australia. I beg you. I beg you to get me on Australia.”