Artem Lobov says he nearly signed with KSW before the COVID-19 pandemic halted negotiations.
Lobov is currently a free agent and is looking to sign a non-exclusive contract so he can fight in MMA, boxing, and bare-knuckle fighting. While looking for that, “The Russian Hammer” says KSW was showing a ton of interest and they were getting ready to sign a bout agreement until the pandemic practically shut the world down.
“To be honest I was talking to a few promotions and I was talking about another bare-knuckle fight. I had some boxing offers, and I was talking to KSW the promotion in Poland,” Lobov said to BJPENN.com. “It was getting close and we were about to finalize the fights then the virus hit and everything is on hold. Now, I just have to wait and see what happens. But, I was close to getting a fight done with KSW, so I want to fight ASAP.”
One promotion that seemed to make sense for Lobov to sign with was Bellator. The fan-favorite says they did offer him a contract when he was first a free agent last year, but he wants to sign a non-exclusive deal.
So, with Lobov wanting a non-exclusive contract, it most likely rules out a return to the UFC. But, the Russian says he would sign back with the promotion for a one-fight deal to finally scrap Zubaira Tukhugov, as the two have a rivalry since UFC 229.
“I would love to fight for them but they are the least likely to offer that. Unless they give me just a one-fight deal with Zubaira that we are talking about. Zubaira wants it, we want it,” he said. “Hopefully, they can make that happen and every single dollar that I would make in that fight would go to charity. Hopefully, the UFC will make it happen.”
If Artem Lobov does fight Zubaira Tukhugov, he knows how to beat him. He also hopes it would be the main event so he can break the Russian over five rounds.
“I would be pressing him. I’d love for it to be the main event as I want to for five rounds. In his fights, he just gets a takedown and stays away and wins on points. I know he finished his last opponent but the most part that is how his fights have been. Before the UFC he hasn’t been tested, he really only has one really win outside the UFC which was against Kuat Khamitov and it was a split-decision,” he concluded. “He had some losses before the UFC as well. In my opinion, he hasn’t been tested that much. He had some success in the UFC but he hasn’t impressed so I like my chances in that fight. I feel like I could break him, which is why I want the five-rounds.”
What do you make of Artem Lobov nearly signing with KSW before the COVID-19 pandemic?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 3/25/2020.