This weekend, in the main event of the UFC’s latest trip to Nashville, Tennessee, Conor McGregor training partner Artem Lobov will take a massive step up in competition as he throws down with the UFC’s fourth-ranked featherweight, Cub Swanson. Given that Lobov owns an admittedly unimpressive record of 13-2-1, and is not even ranked in the featherweight top-15, there is a widespread feeling that he doesn’t deserve this opportunity. According to Swanson himself, however, the ever-improving Russian should not be taken lightly.
“The reality of it is, [Lobov] is still getting better,” Swanson told MMAJunkie. “Every fight that he’s had in the UFC, he’s made strides. He’s an awkward guy, but he’s getting better. He’s training with a good camp, he’s got good people around him, he’s motivated, he’s hungry.”
“I had to watch film on him and always anticipate that he was going to be better,” Swanson continued. “And then the fact that this [main event fight] is five rounds? I had to step up my training. So, everything I did last camp, I had to do more of this camp. There’s no way I can go into this fight taking it lightly – that would be stupid of me.”
Whether Lobov is deserving of this fight or not, Swanson has plans to go out there and put the hurt on him – and ideally pick up a nice, stoppage win.
“When I visualize it in my head, I see myself stopping him,” he said. “Whether it be via punches or submissions, I’ve seen it all. I really just want to go in there and just flow, and not overthink it. Just take what’s there, show that I’m the better fighter, and if he’s game or if it’s a war, then so be it: five rounds of beautiful destruction.”
Do you think Artem Lobov can swing the upset against Cub Swanson this weekend? Sound off, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/20/2017.