If there’s one man who knows Conor McGregor (22-5) the fighter as well as anyone; it’s Artem Lobov. The pair have spent years sparring at SBG gym in Ireland and the Russian was coached by McGregor for The Ultimate Fighter 22.
After departing the UFC in 2018, Lobov has found a home at BKFC. ‘The Russian Hammer’ produced two impressive unanimous decision victories over Jason Knight and Paulie Malignaggi before going on to lose a rematch with Knight in 2019.
Naturally, he was asked to give a prediction for the upcoming trilogy between McGregor and Dustin Poirier. McGregor famously won the first meeting with with a first round KO in 2014. Poirier then avenged that loss with a KO of his own at UFC 257. The trilogy is set to take place at UFC 264 is fancied to be one of the biggest selling Par-Per-Views in UFC history.
Looking ahead to the fight, Artem Lobov said,
“Conor is a very, very smart fighter. I just feel the last fight he maybe took it a little bit lightly and thought, ‘I’ll just show up and do what I do and destroy him.’ Not only that, he was already mentally and physically getting ready for a boxing fight so he wasn’t thinking leg kicks…No MMA. He just thought it was going to be the same way as the first fight,” he added.”
Lobov went on to add that, “We have to give credit to Dustin. He’s done his homework. He’s improved a lot since the first fight and he did a good job. But I think now when Conor is switched on, he knows what’s up. His full focus is on this fight. He’s studied him, he looked at what the issues were in the second fight and honestly when Conor shows up like that? There’s no stopping him. So I see him stopping Dustin early, first, maybe second round. I want to say first. My prediction is first round but it could go into the second.”
Do you agree with Lobov’s prediction?