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07th Jun 2017

Conor McGregor-shaped carrot cruelly being dangled in front of Jose Aldo

This could lead to a potentially awkward situation

Ben Kiely

Artem Lobov knows a smart call-out when he sees one.

When ‘the Russian Hammer’ was getting manhandled into oblivion by Ryan Hall in his UFC debut, no one would have suspected that one day he would be a headliner in the world’s largest MMA promotion.

Then in 2017, he managed to secure a crack at perpetual featherweight contender Cub Swanson in UFC Houston’s main event.

Swanson won a dominant unanimous decision, but Lobov just would not go away. He ate the hardest haymakers like he was getting his money’s worth at an all-you-can-eat beatdown buffet. Not only did the SBG fighter edge the first round, but he also landed 123 significant strikes, 46 more than Doo Ho Choi managed on Swanson in their fight of the year contender at UFC 206.

Rather than use his stock being raised in that lionhearted performance to take an easier fight, Lobov wants to walk right back into the fire and take on recently dethroned featherweight king, Jose Aldo.

‘Scarface’ was on the receiving end of a savage beatdown at UFC 212 that ended in a third-round TKO loss to Max Holloway. Before that, Aldo made it very clear that he desperately wanted retribution for that 13-second annihilation at the hands of Conor McGregor at UFC 194.

He requested a contract terminationthreatened legal action and even hinted that he would be willing to intentionally lose fights to see out the end of his contract, all because McGregor failed to keep that promise he made inside the Octagon.

The Holloway defeat was a demoralising one. It was so definitive, free of controversy and it was in front of a stadium of his screaming supporters, all of whom were reduced to an eerie silence once the referee stepped in. Despite this, Aldo released a statement notifying the world that he was going to continue to fight.

Although McGregor is a little busy pursuing that diamond-encrusted panty night against Floyd Mayweather, you can’t help but feel that the lure of forcing a rematch with ‘the Notorious’ by handing his training partner a royal ass-whoopin’ would be mighty tempting for the Brazilian great.

If Aldo accepts, the fight gets booked and he starches Lobov in the opening round, which is a distinct possibility, how will McGregor respond?

“Pffft… that was only Lobov.”

Not bloody likely. That could make things awkward down the line. It might even make it difficult for McGregor to refuse him the opportunity.

All hypotheticals at this point though, we’re still at the tweet stage.