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21st Apr 2017

Artem Lobov drops sad news about his biggest ever fight like an absolute champion

Such a shame

Ben Kiely

Two giant figures of Irish MMA will be absent from the biggest fight of Artem Lobov’s career.

John Kavanagh and Conor McGregor were in the SSE Arena for ‘the Russian Hammer’s greatest win to date. The fight that secured him an unexpected headliner against the number four-ranked featherweight in the world.

In his corner, the SBG head coach talked him through the gameplan and the fight, guiding him en route to that emphatic unanimous decision win over up-and-comer Teruto Ishihara.

His training partner McGregor kept a watchful gaze from the crowd, cheering on his friend, experiencing every single punch that was thrown. At the end, he entered the Octagon to congratulate the victor and let him bask in the glory.

Very few people are giving Lobov a hope in hell against Cub Swanson in the main event of UFC Kansas, but it is undoubtedly the chance of a lifetime.

Should he defy the odds and defeat the elite contender, he may very well be rewarded with a title shot, depending on the results of other upcoming fights at the business end of the division.

Jose Aldo has already cleaned out the division (well, except for the obvious exception) and should he defend his belt against Max Holloway, the promotion will be looking for fresh contenders. Lobov fresh off a win over one half of 2016’s fight of the year would certainly fit the bill. However, he will have to put on the performance of his life without McGregor’s presence, as he explained to MMA Junkie.

“It doesn’t really effect me. World champions don’t need their hand held. We’ve trained so much with Conor, everything, every time I go into that Octagon, he’s always with me – right here (points to temple) and, most importantly, right here (puts palm on heart).”

He won’t have Kavanagh in his corner either, who’s in the middle of a media tour in Australia which he booked before Lobov’s fight was announced. Not that Lobov minds too much. In his eyes, a fights and fight. It doesn’t matter who’s in his corner, he’s still going to come swinging.

“No, unfortunately John isn’t going to be here either. My fight was announced after he agreed to all the obligations, so he’s not going to be here.”

“The same thing. I have Owen Roddy here, who’s one of the main coaches in SBG. He cornered me many times before. I used to fight every weekend and I could have my Grandma in my corner. By the time I’m walking into that cage, nothing matters anymore. I’m ready to go.”