In late 2016, South Korean featherweight prospect Doo Ho Choi made a clever callout of long-time featherweight contender Cub Swanson. While this callout was quite civil, it served to reignite Swanson’s competitive fire, and gave him the motivation to deliver one of the best wins of his career: an unforgettable, tooth-and-nail decision triumph that left both him and Choi bruised and battered.
Given the fire that Choi’s callout lit in Swanson, you’d think other rising fighters would think twice about calling him out in the future. Yet that’s just what long-time Conor McGregor training partner Artem Lobov did after Swanson’s war with Choi, and after weeks of Twitter trash talk with the veteran, he got his wish. Swanson and Lobov will battle in the main event of the UFC’s Saturday night trip to Nashville, Tennessee.
Having once again been called out by an opportunistic fighter on the way up, Swanson has vowed to knock Lobov out to punish him. He did so in a recent promo video for the UFC’s trip to Nashville, which can be viewed at the top of this post.
“Artem called me a [expletive] and he said I have no balls,” Swanson said in the video. “I found it a little weird that he called me out, especially after my last fight when I showed how much heart I have. I think I’ve showed that many times.”
“I really didn’t think he deserved to be in the UFC in the first place,” Swanson continued. “Not because he’s not talented, but because his record is garbage. He’s rode off other people’s coattails, he’s got in the UFC, and now he’s got the biggest fight of his life, so we’ll see what he does with it. The cool thing about our sport is when someone talks crap, you can punch them in the face, so that’s what I get to do.”
“I think Artem is very beatable. I just believe I’m on another level. I’m very well-rounded, I’ve been doing this a lot longer. I’ve fought better people. I think Artem’s confidence will help him in the fight, I just don’t think it will be enough. If I can finish him in the first round, and make him feel stupid, that would make me happy/ When it comes down to it, Artem called me out, he pissed me off, I’m the better fighter, and I’m going to knock him out.”
What’s your prediction for Nashville’s Cub Swanson vs. Artem Lobov bout?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/18/2017.