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UFC Fight Night 108: Artem Lobov On Fighting Swanson

Artem Lobov will have a huge opportunity to shine when he headlines UFC Fight Night 108 against Cub Swanson next month.

Lobov was likely fighting for his UFC career when he scored a decision over Chris Avila last August. Now, after besting Teruro Ishihara, he can improve to 3-2 with the promotion.

Recently, Lobov talked with Submission Radio about his career and more:

Thoughts on Gunnar Nelson’s win at UFC London

“I mean, it was nothing surprising for me. You know, I’ve known Gunni for many years now. This is exactly what he’s capable of. He had a little night off against Maia, but I think he is back on track now and he’s going to get that belt sooner rather than later.”

On his tweet towards Tyron Woodley about complaining and being a “little bitch”

“Oh that was just, like I said before, I never go out of my way to try to like slag someone or put somebody down or anything. That was just a genuine kind of tweet. You know, I’ve seen him in the media lately always moaning, saying that the UFC don’t promote him enough, which is not true at all. I mean, the UFC have given him everything they could. They gave him the platform, they shined that spotlight on him and it was up to him to preform and deliver, and he didn’t. They put him on the biggest fight ever in UFC history in New York on Conor McGregor’s card, and then the last time as well he was the main event on a pay-per-view and they put a very interesting fight before them – Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson – which would ensure again that more people tune in and watch Tyron perform, and once again he didn’t deliver. So it’s nothing to do with the UFC. Or he even once tried to bring out the racism card, which again, he has no grounds to say that because Jon Jones was and still is a huge star. So how come it works for him? It’s very simple in this game – your performances have to speak for themselves. And a lot of people give me a lot of shit for it, like saying, “oh, what you achieved,” and yeah, I agree, he has achieved more than me, but I wasn’t saying that in that light, saying that oh, I’m better than him. Not at all. I’m just referring to the fact that he complained about the UFC before and I just gave him a general advice – this is how you need to promote yourself. If he had Gunni and absolutely knocked out Thompson in the last fight, he would have been a huge star. But he didn’t. So there’s no point moaning about anyone else. He only has himself to blame.”

How Artem feels about fighters in the MMA game who pick and choose opponents based on stylistic advantages and avoid tougher fights

“The game is filled with pussies, you know what I mean? It’s filled with them guys. Of course, how cool is it, you know, you go in there, you tell all your mates that you’re going to be fighting and you go in and you kill the guy in 10 seconds. It looks great, of course. It’s not like me. I come in there and I’m taking on the best guy in the fucking city or in the area or whatever and we have an absolute war and it’s three rounds and I’m beat up and I can’t even fucking train for four or five weeks. Of course, that’s the hard road. It’s not pretty, it’s not easy, but I felt that if you want to be a fighter, if you want to be in the sport, then this is the right approach. So hopefully in time it will change. I will keep exposing all of the guys that are padding their records, I will keep pointing the finger at them and I will never have respect for anyone who tries to pad his record. If you want my respect, you gotta earn it. And I always give credit where credit is due.”

Artem’s response to the critics who don’t believe he deserves Swanson and his thoughts on Cub as an opponent

“Well my response to the criticism, you know, you don’t have to wonder with me, I will show up. I’m not like them other motherfuckers that coming up with excuse and pulling out of fights. I always show up. If I don’t show up to a fight, I am dead. So I will be there and I will give them a chance to see what exactly I bring to the table and how I’m gonna deal with this next challenge. So they don’t have to wonder for too long. There’s only five weeks left and then they get to find out.”

Why Artem believes Cub is a perfect match-up for him

“Like you said yourself, I wouldn’t class him as a pussy, he always brings it. Fair play to him. He comes to fight. He’s not gonna run around, he’s not gonna hide in that cage, he’s not going to try to grind it out. He’s gonna bring it and he’s gonna go at it and so will I. And when we meet in the middle, I can promise you I’m not taking a step back. I will put that pressure on him and I’ll get him out of there.”

What makes Artem’s relationship so strong with McGregor

“Like I said, this game is filled with pussies. You very rarely come across somebody that’s always willing to fight, always ready to go, always ready to show up, never shies away from a challenge, never shies away from a proper knock. And that’s how me and Conor bonded, over fucking hard knocks. That’s exactly how we bonded. You know, you’d be looking for extra sparring and you’d look around and not many would put their hand up, but my hand was always up. I was always ready to go.”

If Artem and McGregor still spar as hard as they did back in the day

“Of course it’s slightly changed. I mean, we used to spar I don’t know how many rounds per week. We’d do like three, four sparring sessions a week. And obviously that’s good cause you have that in the bag now, but of course nowadays the approach is different. It’s a lot safer and a lot more protection that we wear, you know, head gear and bigger gloves. So yeah, it’s a lot safer than what it used to be.”

If the sparring sessions he had with McGregor were harder than some of the fights he’s had in the past

“Absolutely. I said this before and I don’t know, some people maybe took it the wrong way, but I am happy to repeat that – you know, being Conor McGregor’s main sparring partner is the biggest achievement of my life, because man I’m telling you, if you knew the amount of work I had to put in to be in that spot, to be the guy that he always calls up on when he needs sparring. It’s not an easy spot to be in. You have to be very tough. And just tough is not enough, you have to have skill. You have to be very skilful as well to be able to keep up with the pressure that he puts on people. So I’ve had some wars with that guy in that gym, so I’ve never had a fight as difficult as some of those spars.”

How Artem sees McGregor doing against Mayweather

“Yeah, I’ve said this before and I honestly see Conor getting Floyd out of there by the end of the sixth round. And the reason I say this – people always go, “oh no, but no way. Conor is an MMA guy and Floyd is a boxer”. Yeah, but Conor is known for his boxing, and he used to box since he’s nine years old. He’s boxed for a very long time. And have you ever seen anybody that moves, that fights like Conor? Nobody. And no matter what the other guys say, you know, people aren’t really good at assessing someone’s skills, people are good at comparing things. Even if you look at the way our brain works. If I give you something new that you’ve never seen before and I ask you to put a price on it, we would struggle to do that. But if I gave you something, let’s say a new mobile phone, you would be able to put a price on it because you’d just compare it to other mobile phones there. That’s just the way our brain works. But you’ve never seen anybody move and fight like Conor, so there is no way for these people to compare and assess how that fight will really go. And to me, from what I’ve seen from Floyd and from what I’ve seen from Conor, that is my opinion, that is how I see that fight going, Conor finishing him before the end of sixth.”

How Artem sees himself beating Cub

“Listen, make no mistake about it, I’m preparing for 20 rounds of war. That’s what I’m getting ready for condition-wise and everything. But I am looking forward to putting the pressure on him because he’s never felt pressure like mine before. Never, ever in his life. And when I put the pressure on – he’s the favourite, he’s the number four guy in the world, he’s got everything to prove., he can’t be bullied around, but I will bully him around and he’ll panic and he’ll start throwing and he’ll overcommit and I will catch him.”

Thoughts on current featherweight champions Max Holloway and Jose Aldo

“I’ll tell you one thing about Jose Aldo, if I was in his position I would have never accepted that belt. What? So they took the belt from the guy that knocked him out in 13 seconds, they took it off that guy and they handed him that belt and he just takes it and he’s happy and smiling on his face? What? Like, what kind of pussy do you have to be to take that? I would be like, no way in hell would I ever except that belt. I would say, “give me that guy again, I want to fight him, and if he’s not in the division anymore, well then fuck that, I don’t want that belt. Let the other two fight for the belt and then I’ll fight the winner and I’ll earn that belt”. Because now he’s holding a belt that Conor got off him in 13 seconds and he’ll never be able to get rid of that stain, you know what I mean? Even if he beats now Max Holloway, he’ll still be holding that same belt. So how are you as a man, as a fighter that respects himself, accept that belt? I would have never done it in my life. I don’t know why he fucking done it. So to be honest, I think to bring more life into the division it would be better I think if Holloway won that fight, if I’m honest. But I don’t know how it’s going to play out to be honest. I don’t even think about that. I don’t really give a fuck. I have my own shit to concentrate on. When I get past Cub, we’ll see where that belt is and where I’m at.”

If Artem feels like he can pick up from where Conor left off in the featherweight division

“Well if you look at the way things have been going in the UFC, you can be eligible for whatever you want, you can be ranked as high as you want, but if you don’t show up then all of that is worth nothing. And I’m the guy that always shows up. Also is the guy that fucken never shows up. So if he was to pull out, get injured again or whatever, who is gonna step in? And I’m coming off the win against Cub. Who will step in? There’s nobody else that’s putting their hand up, I can tell you that. So anything is possible. Now, I don’t want to look that far just yet. Like I said, I have a lot on my plate now, but once I’m done with Cub, for sure I will be looking at how to pave that quest to that title. The way I see it at the end of it all is a lot of corpses behind me and gold wrapped around my waist. That’s the way that I imagine it right now. How it’s gonna play out, we’ll see. But make no mistake, I will not give up. No matter what happens, I’ll fix the mistakes that need to be fixed and I’ll be back in there. I can promise you that.”

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