Lobov had his good friend and training partner Conor McGregor sitting cageside for his fight. While Fili was in the Octagon waiting for Lobov to enter from his walkout, “Touchy” says he got more motivation from seeing the UFC lightweight champion eyeing him down from the crowd.
“That fired me right up,” Fili told MMA Fighting. “He tried to stare me down and I locked eyes with him and did not back down. He started quoting Notorious B.I.G. lyrics and I just laughed. I was just like ‘not tonight, motherf*cker.’ That’s why I did his ‘billionaire strut’ and everything.”
McGregor was fired up during the fight and had to be told by referee Marc Goddard to stay near his seat after walking around the perimeter of Octagon shouting instructions to Lobov. That only helped fuel Fili in the fight.
“There’s nothing like kicking someone’s ass with their best friend watching on in their corner,” Fili said. “Conor did me a big favor. I was already ready to go but he made me turn it up another level.”
Although there was a tense moment between Fili and “The Notorious,” Fili explained that they both shared respectful words backstage. However, Fili did not know at the time that McGregor was referring to him using a gay slur while consoling his teammate after the fight.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 10/25/2017.