Tomorrow night, Artem Lobov will face the biggest test of his career in the UFC’s fourth-ranked featherweight, Cub Swanson. He’ll enter this fight on a two-fight win-streak, and if he scores the upset, he’s likely to burst into the featherweight top-10, where more high-stakes challenges await.
Things haven’t always been so good for Lobov. Speaking to Peter Carroll of NewsTalk.com, Lobov explained that, after losing his first two fights with the organization – decisions to Ryan Hall and Alex White – he actually contacted the UFC and asked to be released from his contract. Apparently, he was offered a fight with a champion in another promotion.
“I messaged the UFC and told them to release me,” Lobov said of his mindset after his second consecutive UFC loss.
“I explained that I understood that I had two losses and if they were going to cut me it would be fair. I told them I had found a champion outside of the UFC to fight, who I felt was the best unsigned talent outside of the promotion.”
“I was confident that the other promotion wanted to put the fight on, but then the UFC came back to me with another matchup. I took it because UFC is where I want to be.”
“Having those losses was not easy, but I’m not a moaner and I’m not a complainer. I’m a go-getter and an earner,” he said. “I was never going to stay down, crying. I dusted myself off and I was ready to either leave the UFC or get another matchup. I wasn’t begging anyone for another fight, I wasn’t crying about the bad situation.
“Instead of that, I just thought about what I needed to do to fix the situation and get me to where I needed to be. I did just that and now I am where I want to be.”
In his last two fights, Artem Lobov has defeated Chris Avila and Teruto Ishihara, both by decision. Do you think he can make it three in a row against Swanson? Sound off, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/21/2017.