UFC appear to have seriously dropped the ball with Artem Lobov's return
If you guessed that Artem Lobov would be fighting on Conor McGregor's undercard in October, guess again.
When Dana White confirmed that Artem Lobov wasn't cut from the UFC, his return was inevitable. Once Conor McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagomedov was announced for UFC 229, it seemed like 'The Russian Hammer' would make a nice addition to the card.
After calling the bus attack at UFC 223 'disgusting,' the UFC proceeded to use footage of the incident to promote UFC 229's headliner. Considering Lobov was involved in the incident and his confrontation with Nurmagomedov supposedly sparked it, it would have been a no-brainer to add him to UFC 229.
Lobov is fighting in October. He's fighting one of Khabib's Dagestani training partners in Zubaira Tukhugov too. However, that fight will take place in a city most people will have never heard of before - the bustling metropolis of Moncton, New Brunswick.
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) August 20, 2018
So why is this fight not taking place in Vegas, you ask? The short answer is fuck knows!
Tukhugov (14-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) has been serving a two-year Usada suspension stemming from an out-of-competition test in September 2016. He tested positive for the banned substance ostarine, a selective androgen receptor modulator. However, that suspension ends on September 26. So he should have been free to fight at UFC 229.
Another interesting thing to note about Tukhugov is he probably needs the payday. He hasn't fought since dropping a split decision to Renato Moicano in May 2016. According to a statement from Usada, arbitration proceedings set him back a $10,000. He told Lastround.ru in 2016 that he didn't turn a profit from his first three UFC fights.
"I've never in my life not been financially blank after a fight. In the first fight, I was in the red. In the second fight, I went to zero. Then the third was in the red for three thousand dollars. I'm trying to raise my name and my people. This is my goal, so I fight. I have a dream."
This fight is a real head-scratcher. Well, for everyone except Tukhugov.