Over the weekend, we learned that Conor McGregor training partner Artem Lobov had been granted the fight he’s been campaigning for: a scrap with the UFC’s fourth-raked featherweight, Cub Swanson. The two will headline the UFC’s upcoming trip to Nashville, Tennessee on April 22.
Given that Swanson is soundly inside the featherweight top-5, and Lobov is not even ranked, many people consider this booking a bit of a head-scratcher. As Lobov explained in a recent interview with Peter Carroll of Newstalk, however, it makes perfect sense.
“I’m delighted with the matchup,” he said. “Considering how high up the rankings he is, he’s currently number four, and his style, I feel like he’s perfect for me.”
“He is the type of fight of I’ve been searching for me whole life. I’ve never been able to get a chance of going in there with someone like him. Every other opponent I’ve faced has always tried to take me down.”
“I’ve been calling for a slugfest like this for many years. This is my kind of fight. All my prayers have been answered.”
Lobov then gave some insight as to how he plans to defeat his powerful foe.
“Cub certainly has power, but it’s nothing that I haven’t seen before,” he explained. “I guarantee that I won’t take a step back, like always. That’s something he has never experienced before.”
“He’s used to fighting in the open. He’s used to throwing all of these crazy kicks. He has never experienced someone that is able to shut down his game like I will.”
“I’m going to put him on the back foot, give him no space to attack and you better believe that I’ll be ready throw big bombs at him from the first bell.”
Finally, Lobov explained that, because this fight it scheduled for five rounds, he expects a finish to materialize.
“This time, I honestly can’t see the fight going the distance given the fact that this fight is five rounds. This will definitely be a finish.”
Do you think Artem Lobov can pull of the win against Cub Swanson in April? Sound off, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/12/2017.