One of Australiaâ€™s most promising young fighters at both middleweight and welterweight and one of the worldâ€™s most prolific Judo players, Hector â€œShangoâ€ Lombard, signed a long-term contract with Los Angeles-based ProElite, Inc.â€™s live division, EliteXC.
The formal announcement was made today by EliteXC Live Events President Gary Shaw. Terms of the long-term, multi-fight agreement were not disclosed.
â€œI am delighted to make it official that Hector has signed with us,â€™â€™ Shaw said. â€œHe is an elite athlete, no doubt about that, and he was very sought-after, so for us, this is a very strong acquisition.
â€œFans are in for a real treat. Hector is one of the most talented and explosive fighters Iâ€™ve ever seen. There may not be any other fighter in his divisions with more explosive strength and athleticism. He is a real crowd-pleasing fighter. It is unreal how he delivers those judo throws and power slams.
â€œHector is definitely a tremendous addition to the EliteXC and ProElite family and I look forward to seeing him showing his skills in the near future.â€™â€™
The Cage Fighting Champion at middleweight, Lombard is 15-2-1. Before relocating to Australia, where he has become an Australian citizen, and turning to mixed martial arts, he was an Olympian for Cuba in the sport of judo.
Shaw credits Lombardâ€™s former promoter for helping seal the deal. â€œLuke Pezzutti was absolutely instrumental in helping us put this together,â€™â€™ Shaw said. â€œWithout his input and expertise, I seriously donâ€™t think this deal would have happened.â€™â€™
Pezzutti, Cage Fighting Championship Director, said: â€œThis is exciting news for Hector and for Australia. Our most exciting fighter will be on show to millions (of fans and viewers.) The contract also allows Hector to continue fighting for CFC, which is great news for his Aussie and CFC fans.
â€œI am very excited for Hector. I believe he is destined to be our most successful export and I see him fighting for the EliteXC title very soon. Iâ€™m also excited that Elite XC has agreed to work with CFC to give our other fighters international opponents and possible opportunities to fight overseas.â€
Lombard, who turned pro in September 2004, is unbeaten (8-0-1) since November â€˜06. The draw came against fellow Aussie Kyle Noke, who also fights for EliteXC. Rematch, anyone?
That Lombard can compete at 185 and 170 pounds should make for excellent opportunities since EliteXC is deep in talent in both weight classes.
â€œSigning with EliteXC should provide my career with a massive boost and is a great opportunity,â€™â€™ Lombard said. â€œI feel I am ready to fight the best they have to offer. The fact I have the freedom to fight outside EliteXC is huge for me, too.â€™â€™