Artem Lobov, former UFC featherweight, has spoken out about two scenarios that could lure him out of retirement.
Lobov, 35, is a Russian former professional mixed martial artist and boxer based out of Ireland. ‘The Russian Hammer’ during his 11 year career, became one of the most popular fan favorites through his appearance and fighting style for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and most recently in the Bare Knuckle Fighting.
In his last fight for UFC Fight Night 138 back on October 27, 2018, Lobov (13-15 MMA) lost a unanimous decision to Michael Johnson (20-17 MMA).
Following that loss, Lobov signed a lucrative deal with BKFC (Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship), winning two of four fights, one of which included a victory over Paulie Malignaggi, former world champion boxer.
Ultimately in July of last year, Artem Lobov announced his retirement from Combat Sports after his loss to Denis Berinchik.
Lobov claiming after his loss, on the ‘The MMA Hour’, said that he wasn’t good enough to accomplish the goals he wanted:
“When I retired I finally had to come to this point where I had to say to myself ‘you will not achieve those goals, it will not happen for you, you were not good enough, you didn’t manage to get where you wanted to get,” Lobov said.“This is your time to hang it up Artem. Bye-bye.’ That’s why it was an emotional time. I wasn’t really ready yet.”
However, now, less than six months later, Lobov is providing some hope to his fan base that he may be ready to enter back into the sport again.
In a recent appearance on Ariel Helwani’s, ‘The MMA Hour’, Artem listed two scenarios that could bring him out of retirement and back into the cage or ring:
“I gave myself a promise, ‘Artem, you will not go back in there, no matter what. Fucking make it elsewhere now, it doesn’t matter what happens, it doesn’t matter how much you want to go back in there. Do not go back in there.’
“There’s only two ways that I go back to fighting; the (Zubaira) Tukhugov fight, that goes without retirement, I don’t care If I am retired or not, I always want that fight, no matter what,” Lobov continued (h/t MMANews). “And, if somebody wants to make my dreams come true and offer me seven figures, well then it’s going to change things up… seven figures could allow you to set up your financial future for the family, and that’s a big thing for me, of course. And open up a lot of doors as well. I would consider coming back for those reasons.”
Lobov vs Tukhugov were scheduled for UFC Fight Night 138 back in October 2018. That matchup would have extended the fiery rivalry between Khabib Nurmagoemdov’s camp and that of Conor McGregor. It was not to be as two weeks prior at UFC 229, the groups were in a post-fight brawl following Khabib’s victory over ‘The Notorious‘. Tukhugov was heavily involved in the brawl, even throwing punches at McGregor, which had him removed from the scheduled UFC 138 fight with Lobov.
Back in 2020, Lobov commenting about a fight with Tukhugov, was quoted as saying:
“This is a must-fight for me,” Lobov said. “I will not stop calling this guy out no matter what. So this fight is going to happen. That’s it.”