UFC Opening Odds: Brian Stann (-110) vs. Hector Lombard (-120)

Click for videoUFC on FOX 4: August 4, 2012 Los Angeles, California Brian Stann (-110) Profile: Stann (12-4) is 6-3 in the UFC and coming off an impressive first-round knockout of Alessio Sakara on April 14 at UFC on Fuel TV 2 in Sweden. In fact, his most recent victory made headlines because he backed off Sakara once he knew he was out rather than finishing him off with additional strikes. Stann is 4-1 since moving to middleweight from light heavyweight, with his only loss against top contender Chael Sonnen by choke submission at UFC 136 last October 8. Stann had also previously knocked out Jorge Santiago at UFC 130 and Chris Leben at UFC 125 and choked out Mike Massenzio at middleweight before losing to Sonnen. Hector Lombard (-120) Profile: Lombard (31-2-1) will be making his UFC debut as the reigning middleweight world champion with the Bellator Fighting Championships. The 34-year-old Cuban has a fourth-degree black belt in Judo and was originally slated to make his first appearance with the organization at UFC 78, but visa issues prevented that from happening. Lombard is 24-0-1 in his last 25 fights with his only two career losses coming against Akihiro Gono and Gegard Mousasi, both by unanimous decision in the 2006 PRIDE Bushido Welterweight Grand Prix Tournament. However, the only notable opponent Lombard has faced recently is Alexander Shlemenko, resulting in a five-round unanimous decision victory at Bellator 34 on October 28, 2010. Opening Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas has made Lombard a slight -120 favorite (bet $120 to win $100) against arguably the toughest opponent of his career in Stann, a small -110 underdog. Not everyone is buying the hype on Lombard, including middleweight contender Michael Bisping, who believes his record is inflated because he has not fought anybody and should have to earn his way to a title shot in the UFC. Whether Bisping likes it or not, Lombard has an excellent opportunity to prove he belongs among the elite middleweights in the world with this fight. A win over Stann would legitimize his record a bit and show he might be a worthy opponent for middleweight champion Anderson Silva somewhere down the road. But Stann also has a great chance to help himself in this matchup and could earn a spot in a potential title eliminator bout, possibly against the winner of Bisping and Tim Boetsch at UFC 149.

Written by Matty

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