By: John Morgan | September 17, 2017
Anthony Smith didn’t exactly inspire for the opening two rounds of his clash with Hector Lombard, but he turned it on in the third.
The middleweight contest took place on the FS1-televised main card of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 116 from PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh.
Smith came out looking to use his range, but Lombard was aggressive in return, moving past his opponent’s long limbs. A Lombard flurry briefly sent his opponent to his knees, but Smith patiently covered and worked his way back to his feet while avoiding any further damage. Smith was patient on the restart, and Lombard took advantage by chopping the legs with a few powerful blows. Huge punches came shortly after, with Lombard showing aggression. Lombard continued to chop at the legs until the bell, setting the tone to the end.
Lombard continued working the legs in the second, and Smith just wasn’t using his massive reach advantage with much success. While Lombard’s cardio has been questioned at times, it was Smith who was visibly slowing and less active than his opponent. Lombard eventually moved into the clinch, slipping around to the back and driving in a few knees while Smith worked to break the grip. Once they separated, Smith finally came alive, and a late right hand did seem to stagger Lombard a bit, but it was too little, too late.
Smith yelled at Lombard between rounds, and it seemed to bring the taller fighter alive to start the third, finally turning up the volume a bit. Smith dropped his hands a bit and started to get loose, and a big right hand sent Lombard to the floor. The flush blow was a game-ender, with referee Dan Miragliotta immediately calling a halt to the action at the 2:33 mark of the final round.
Smith (28-12 MMA, 4-2 UFC) improves to 11-1 in his past 12 outings. Lombard (34-8-1 MMA, 3-6 UFC) has dropped four consecutive contests.
Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 116 results include:
Anthony Smith def. Hector Lombard via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 2:33
Gregor Gillespie def. Jason Gonzalez via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 2, 2:11
Kamaru Usman def. Sergio Moraes via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 2:48
Justin Ledet def. Zu Anyanwu via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Olivier Aubin-Mercier def. Tony Martin via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Daniel Spitz def. Anthony Hamilton via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 0:24
Uriah Hall def. Krzysztof Jotko via knockout (punches) – Round 2, 2:25
Gilbert Burns def. Jason Saggo via knockout (punch) – Round 2, 4:55