Originally posted on 5thRound.com  |  Last updated 4/18/12

Reigning Bellator middleweight champ Hector Lombard (Pictured) quietly became MMA’s hottest free agent earlier this year. As expected, the UFC has made the 34-year-old an offer that is leaving Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney contemplating his next move.  

If we were to use NFL lingo, Lombard is a restricted free agent and Bellator has the right to match any competitor’s deal.

“We’ve received the final proposed UFC agreement from Hector’s attorney, and right now we are in the process of reviewing it to determine whether we’re going to match the agreement,” Rebney told Sherdog. “We’ve got the 60 pages of UFC contract that were forwarded to us by Hector’s counsel.

“Out of respect for Hector, I think we will turn [the UFC contract] around very quickly. Obviously, we have a huge event coming up Friday [Bellator 66]. As soon as that is over, we will sit down with our partners and go through the UFC contract line-for-line and make a strategic decision whether we’re going to match it or pass.”

Lombard has rattled off 24 consecutive wins and is considered to be one of the top 185-pounders not competing in the Octagon. He was last seen posting a TKO victory over Trevor Prangley at “Bellator 58” this past November in a 195-pound catchweight bout.

Rebney has a tough decision on his hands. Will he match the lucrative contract the world’s premier MMA promotion offered one of his biggest stars or allow him to walk? If the verdict turns out to be the latter, Rebney wants Lombard to do Bellator proud.

“The reality is that Hector is going to do extremely well whether he is fighting in the Octagon or the Bellator circle, and I think everybody knew that,” Rebney said. [If we pass, we will] wish him the best and let him go knock out everybody in the UFC.”

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Twitter, Facebook report engagement decline during Super Bowl

Steve Spurrier becomes special assistant to South Carolina AD

Brent Musberger wants you to bet on Joe Lunardi’s bracketology

Unranked Duke uses big first half to beat No.13 Louisville

MLB reportedly close to rule preventing collisions at second base

USOC says athletes concern about Zika shouldn't attend Games

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Von Miller shares support for embattled Johnny Manziel

The Panthers had to use a silent snap count at the Super Bowl

Report: Lakers would fire Byron Scott to hire Luke Walton

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Seahawks’ Frank Clark rips Cam Newton ‘that boy a b—‘

Report: Tom Thibodeau has 'always wanted' Knicks job

Daniel Bryan says goodbye to WWE during teary retirement speech

Paul George delivers great line about driving by Kobe Bryant

WATCH: Oklahoma beats Texas on Buddy Hield's 3-pointer

Andre Drummond hits 70-foot buzzer beater to end 3rd quarter

Duke's Allen appears to intentionally trip Louisville's Spaulding

Candidates for New York Knicks head coaching job

Attorney alleges Johnny Manziel ruptured ex-girlfriend's eardrum

Jeanie Buss may clean house in Lakers’ front office

Lisa Ann wants to reward Emmanuel Sanders for Super Bowl win

WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan to announce retirement

Nine best and worst players from 2015 NFL playoffs

Rodman wants Phil Jackson to know he’s ready to coach Knicks

Wade Phillips trolls Cam Newton with dabbing tweet

MMA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker