Praise Artem Lobov
Featured Image Credit: MMA Weekly
Artem Lobov, the P4P king, training partner to Conor McGregor, a guy I hear is pretty good, and member of elite gym SBG in Dublin, has a fight upcoming, and it is important to use this time to give praise to the GOAT of the sport.
For one, one has to admire the tenacity Artem brings into the Octagon. In his official UFC debut, he landed 13 strikes against Ryan Hall before getting ROBBED via decision, with the scores being 30-27 and 30-26 x2. Judges will tell you they saw Hall land over 160 strikes, but Lobov’s hurt more; I know this. Now, Hall has a bout scheduled with BJ Penn, knowing he got lucky last time and doesn’t want any smoke from the GOAT. He followed this performance up with another decision loss, this time at the hands to Alex White. Since that fight, White has only won one other fight in the promotion, most recently losing to Jim Miller via submission. Sounds like Artem really shook him up.
Another aspect of Artem Lobov that makes in an all around winner is his loyalty to Conor. During the buildup to McGregor-Diaz 2, it was announced that there would be 2 SBG-Cesar Gracie JJ bouts. There would be McGregor and Diaz obviously, but the real thriller was the booking of Chris Avila and Artem “The Greatest Fighter to Ever Fight” Lobov on the TV prelims. In that highly-anticipated bout, Lobov looked FANTASTIC, landing more accurately and more significant strikes than Avila. He went on to win by UNANIMOUS DECISION. Finally the judges saw what the rest of the world could. Artem would have continued this tradition of fighting teammates of Conor’s rivals until the UFC stepped in and removed Zubaira Tukhugov from their UFC Moncton fight for his part in attacking Mr. McGregor after the finale of UFC 229, replacing him with Michael Johnson. They could have made it one of the most viewed TV fights ever if they would have allowed it and also used the attack to promote Tukhugov. It would be even better if they would have made it a bout in which the loser gets fired from the UFC. But, I digress.
To continue riding that hype of Chris Avila, Artem went into Belfast and RANSACKED Teruto “I Love My B-tches” Ishihara, again by decision. Although one judge gave Ishihara a round, it was merely charity, as Lobov went in and landed SHOTS, with 82 of his 86 landed strikes being significant. Pair that with a takedown of his, throw in the fact he stuffed all four of Ishihara’s takedown attempts, and you have a legitimate superstar performance. Nothing short.
Since then, he’s faced some of 145s best, including Cub Swanson and Andre Fili. He’s come up short, but he is bound for a breakthrough. One final piece of evidence is his UFC profile. For his summary, there are two words: Striking, toughness. That’s who he is. He isn’t afraid to take a shot to land his Russian hammers (see what I did there?). This Satuday he is facing a Michael Johnson that has seen him drop down in weight after simply not being good enough for 155’s best. When he came down to Featherweight, Darren Elkins put on the performance of a lifetime, securing the Rear-Naked Choke in the second in a fight where Johnson much looked to be the better man. Then, still shook by what talent is the 145 lb. division, he barely scrapes by a fight against Andre Fili, a fight some say he lost. Now, stepping in on short notice to take on the best ever, it’s hard to pick. Lobov, a SHOCKING +500 on some sports books, is looking to prove that he is the future of the UFC Featherweight division, and Michael Johnson is the poor soul that will be used to make that point.
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