MIAMI – Former Bellator champion Hector Lombard is making a return to MMA after almost four years away from the sport.

The 44-year-old signed a multifight contract with Eagle FC this week and is expected to debut against former UFC fighter Thiago Silva in the co-main event of Eagle FC 48 on May 20 at the FLXcast Arena.

“I’m super happy with this chapter of my career,” Lombard told MMA Junkie. “I’m a huge fan of Khabib (Nurmagomedov), Ali (Abdelaziz), and the whole staff of Eagle FC, and I can’t wait to be in there.”

Although absent from MMA, Lombard (34-10-1) has remained busy in recent years fighting for Bare Knuckle FC where he became a two-division champion. He currently holds the cruiserweight title after losing the light heavyweight belt to Lorenzo Hunt.

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Lombard doesn’t plan to stop competing in bare-knuckle boxing. The Cuban fighter missed MMA and is eager to get in the cage.

“Yeah, (I missed MMA),” Lombard said. “I kind of had that feeling like, you know, last time I came for the event (Eagle FC 44), I’m like, ‘Man, I want to do this. I want to do this here.’ And it came through.”

Lombard competed in the UFC from 2012 to 2018. He went 3-8 in the promotion. Prior to his UFC run, Lombard was unbeaten in 25 consecutive contests where he claimed and defended the Bellator middleweight title.

You can watch Lombard’s full interview in the video above.

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