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28th Oct 2018

Artem Lobov suffers defeat against short-notice opponent Michael Johnson in Moncton

Lobov didn't appear to appreciate one scorecard

Darragh Murphy

Artem Lobov has always been a very honest fighter.

After suffering consecutive defeats for the second time in his UFC career with his loss against Andre Fili last year, Lobov admitted that he felt like he didn’t deserve a contract with the promotion.

So we would guess that the SBG featherweight is going to be similarly hard on himself after finding himself on the wrong end of three successive unanimous decisions.

On Saturday night, Lobov came up short against Michael Johnson in the co-main event of UFC Moncton and he would be the first to concede that his back is now up against the wall.

Johnson accepted the bout on less than two weeks notice after Lobov’s initial opponent, Zubaira Tukhugov, was removed from the card for his involvement in the post-UFC 229 melee earlier this month.

And while he missed weight, Johnson displayed no cardio problems come fight night as he outstruck Lobov at long stages of the featherweight contest.

Lobov did enjoy some success on the feet but a couple of slips and a late takedown from Johnson meant the result was never likely to be in danger.

‘The Russian Hammer’ did appear perplexed by the one 30-27 scorecard that was read by Bruce Buffer, clearly feeling he won at least one round. The other two judges agreed with Lobov in that regard and saw the fight 29-28 in favour of Johnson.

It would surprise few if it turns out to be Lobov’s final fight in the UFC as he is now 2-5 since making his official debut in the Octagon in 2015.

To be fair to Lobov, he probably won’t be too bothered if the UFC cut him loose as he is now more determined to finally get into the cage with Tukhugov – who attacked Lobov’s long-time teammate Conor McGregor three weeks ago – than he is with UFC paydays.

“If they cut him, I want to be gone as well,” Lobov told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani in the lead-up to Saturday night. “I will fight him in ACB, Bellator or any league he wants to do it. But I will get him.

“It has to be done inside the Octagon. I want to look this man in the eyes, one-on-one. Once you’re inside that Octagon, it’s one-on-one. Your skill versus his skill. Your heart versus his heart. I want to test his heart in the Octagon. I want to see what he’s got.”