No. 6-ranked UFC welterweight and former Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard recently got his second straight win since cutting down to 170 pounds, defeating Jake Shields with what many deemed a lackluster decision at UFC 171.

“Lightning” came out aggressive and nailed Shields with some big shots in the first round, and it looked like Lombard was headed to an easy victory. However, he was largely neutralized in the later rounds when Shields lulled the action to a snail’s pace.

Regardless, the Australian heavy hitter is still due for a big fight. He’s been rumored to face off with semi-retired bad boy Nick Diaz, but Diaz hasn’t got back to Dana White on that one, and is seemingly retired unless the UFC wants to open up the checkbook.

Lombard believes the Stockton native is ducking him, so he told Ariel Helwani of “UFC Tonight” that he is looking to fight someone else, albeit to similarly unsuccessful results:

“Hector Lombard is very eager to get back into the Octagon as well. He told me he wants to fight Nick Diaz, but he thinks Nick Diaz is “running from him.” So he would like to fight Patrick Cote at UFC 175 on July 5 in Las Vegas, but I spoke to Patrick Cote just moments ago; he said he has other plans, and it does not include Hector Lombard.”

Cote recently picked up his third straight victory, including two straight at welterweight, with his unanimous decision win over Kyle Noke at last Wednesday’s (April 16, 2014) TUF Nations Finale in his homeland of Quebec, Canada. Apparently, “The Predator” already has another big fight lined up, but it’s hard to imagine one bigger than a bout versus Lombard.

With top-level fighters trying to avoid getting struck by “Lightning,” who will be next on Lombard’s quest towards a UFC 170-pound title shot?

Photo: Anne-Marie Sorvin for USA TODAY Sports