ARTEM LOBOV will be a name unfamiliar to most fans of the sweet science but he is, in a nutshell, to Conor McGregor what Adrien Broner is to Floyd Mayweather. He fights a bit like the Irishman; he follows him around; his reputation has been enhanced by association; he’s a sparring partner some days, mascot on others.
Interestingly (or not), since requesting his release from the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) this week, Lobov has signalled his intention to branch out from MMA and pursue opportunities in both kickboxing and boxing. Like McGregor, the Russian sees himself as a combat sports freelancer; a roaming warrior gifted enough to ignore the rules and blur the lines between disciplines – oh, and and make a bit more money in the process.
He leaves the UFC with a modest 2-5 record and it’s unlikely, despite his striking skills and toughness, he will fare much better in either boxing or kickboxing. The reality of this, however, probably won’t stop ‘The Russian Hammer’, also known as ‘The GOAT’, from trying.