SBG Ireland’s Artem Lobov is currently on a two-fight losing-streak, having recently given up decisions to dangerous foes in Cub Swanson and Andre Fili.
After his loss to Fili, “The Russian Hammer” briefly worried that he’d be released by the UFC. Ultimately, however, he was given another shot with the promotion in the form of a UFC 223 matchup with Alex Caceres.
Before he was offered this fight with Caceres, Lobov says he was bracing for the possibility of a UFC release. At that point, he was seriously considering a transition to a striking-based sport – and apparently, he received no shortage of interest in this regard.
“Perhaps boxing or K1,” Lobov said on the latest stacked episode of BJ Penn Radio. “I don’t lack any offers. I have a lot of offers on the table. Some very good financial offers for more money than I’m actually currently getting in the UFC.”
Though it doesn’t sound like Lobov would have had any difficulty finding lucrative opportunities elsewhere, he’s happy he’s been given another chance in the UFC.
“UFC, this is the premier organization. This is where the toughest matchups are and this is what I’m always after,” he said. “Of course it’s a place where I want to be. But I was gonna prepare that, if I was let go I had a plan of action in place. And I wasn’t gonna dwell on it, I wasn’t gonna be crying or begging or anything like that. I was ready to move on and tackle the next problem and see what happens next.”
Had Lobov made the move to a striking-based combat sport like kickboxing or boxing, he feels he would have performed well. It’s his belief that he possesses the ability to hang with the best fighters on the planet in any arena.
“I know I’ve got the skill,” he said. “I know there’s not a man in the world in any of the striking arts that would just run over me. So I’m comfortable in competing K-1 or boxing. And I still am, even though I’m in the UFC now. But perhaps at the end of my contract or whatever, or down the line in the future, I don’t wanna rule this one out. I certainly will explore all avenues. K-1, boxing, all of them.”
Whatever the case, Artem Lobov is glad he can still call himself a UFC fighter – a fact he attributes to the exciting nature of his fights.
“Of course this is a sport. [In] a sport, to be successful, you have to win. But it is also the entertainment business,” Lobov said. “I think there’s plenty of examples, how important it is to not only win but also be entertaining. I think Jon Fitch is probably one of the best examples. He used to be one of the welterweights in the world. And still, people wouldn’t really tune in to watch him fight just because it’s boring. That’s the bottom line. People want to be entertained. It’s not easy to sit through three hours of fights, especially if for a majority part of those three hours, people are just gonna lay on top of each other, cuddling or whatever they are doing in there and not much attacking.”
“People wanna see action. They wanna see fights. They wanna see real fights. And that’s what I provide. This is the Russian Hammer brand at this stage. When you see my name on the card, you know that you’re gonna get action. You know you’re gonna get a good fight. And people will love watching my fights.”
Would you be interested in seeing Artem Lobov compete in a striking-based combat sport in the future?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/22/2018.