The UFC 166 card scheduled for October 19th at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas will feature a welterweight clash between Hector Lombard and Nate Marquardt. Lombard will be testing the waters at 170 lbs after going 1-2 as a Middleweight, while Marquardt is on a two fight skid, so both men are in desperate need of a win. Look for the books to open up with Lombard as the favorite in the fight, though that may bear watching. There has long been the belief that the muscle bound Lombard could make 170. At 185, against the likes of Yushin Okami and Tim Boetsch, Lombard just lacked the size and reach to compete. One thing that does not bode well for Marquardt is that Lombard proved to be very tough and no one hurt him or took him out when he was facing bigger men. It is unlikely that Marquardt is going to take Lombard out on the feet. Lombard will still be compact at 170 lbs, picturing a physique and core strength similar to a Josh Koscheck type, which means that Marquardt is going to have a hard time getting him to the ground. Marquardt is going to have to score points on his feet and keep a distance, or he is going to have to land a head kick or knee that finds Lombard’s button. For his part, Lombard is a mean, aggressive fighter with a big punch and very solid technique based on his judo background. Lombard can also be credited with being hungrier than Marquardt. Though both are veterans of roughly the same number of fights, Lombard has shown fire in his recent matches while Marquardt really has not. On the physical end Lombard has advantages, and he has the edge in the intangibles of technique and what they used to call ‘bottom’ in the 1920’s. That is, gameness or inner fire, so it is clear he will be favored going into the fight. Unless the line opens up extremely favorably (ie – really wide if you’re a Marquardt fan and going to take the dog, or really tight so you can get some value out of Lombard) and you are dying to bet this fight, holding off until after the weigh ins and placing your bet on the day of the fight is the safest bet. For most bettors, the weigh-ins are required viewing, and more so for this fight. Lombard has long refused to cut the weight, preferring to keep a lot of muscle throughout his competitive career. Lombard has appeared to be long on many of the things needed to be a champion, but one of them he appeared to lack at times is discipline. And weight cutting is a discipline that may not be easy to just pick up and do at 35 years old. First, there is the question, and it is a very legit one, and that is will Lombard make the weight at all? The match would be in jeopardy, however in the current UFC atmosphere, the match will probably go ahead with Marquardt getting a percentage of Lombard’s pay, but it could legitimately be cancelled. Will there be warning signs? If Lombard does not make weight and must use the allotted time to get there, that is a bad sign. Here you may have to dig a bit, because what you will see on the broadcast is Lombard failing to make weight, and then we can read about his next weigh in. But at the highest level, struggling to make weight is a bad sign. Even if he makes weight, Lombard’s body language will tell a lot if he appears lethargic and not wound up with his usual tension. It is an interesting fight in that a win puts Lombard on a firm trajectory to a title shot in 2014, and could spell the end of his UFC career for Marquardt. Should Marquardt win, he needs to string together a few wins in order to be relevant, but a loss could spell the end of the UFC for Lombard as well, though that isn’t as likely.