Lobov: “Born in Russia, forged in Ireland, you can’t knock that shit out”

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Ireland can be quite cold and dull in January. Even if you’re wrapped up in copious layers of clothing you can still feel the bite of Jack Frost. While it’s miserable enough for normal, everyday folk, Artem Lobov had the detrimental task of cutting weight ahead of his second outing for the UFC against Alex White to get through, with the fight set to take place tomorrow in the MGM Grand.

“Ireland is not a place for cutting weight,” said Lobov who will make his first walk to the Octagon as a featherweight tomorrow night.

“Look at Irish food, and it’s the same in Russia, it’s all potatoes and stew. It’s great food and I love it. It’s comfort food. It keeps you warm during the cold months, but as far as trying to survive in the cold on salad and chicken, it’s not the best. But hey, it’s part of the game so it can only make me stronger. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.”

It doesn’t appear as though Conor McGregor has made the trek to corner ‘The Russian Hammer’ with his own super-fight with Rafael Dos Anjos just around the corner. It doesn’t seem to bother Lobov, who insisted that he “could do this with (his) grandma in (his) corner”

“On the week of the fight, it’s good to have people there that know what’s up. They know what they’re doing, they can make your week a lot easier, help you cut weight and get you everything you need. When the fight happens, obviously it’s great having John (Kavanagh) there for advice. He’s a great coach, but I’m not going to lie to you, I could do this with my grandma in my corner.”

Southpaw White will own a significant reach advantage over the Russian on Saturday night, but it’s nothing the stocky SBG fighter isn’t used to. Lobov insisted that he prefers to fight taller people due to the fact that he has one of the shortest reaches in his gym, SBG Ireland.

“I like fighting tall guys because it’s harder for them to take me down because, simply, they have a longer way to travel. You saw what happened to Martin Svensson when we fought. He’s a tall guy and a southpaw. I love fighting southpaws.

“A lot of people don’t like that because you don’t come across too many of them, but I happen to have a pretty good southpaw training partner, you might have heard of the guy, Conor McGregor is his name. I’m well aware of how to deal with a southpaw so we’ll see how it goes down.

“I’ve never been knocked out before in my life. Best of luck to him if he tries to knock me out. Like I always say, born in Russia, forged in Ireland, you can’t knock that shit out.

“I’ve got the shortest reach, I’ve got the same reach as Ais Daly. I’ve been dealing with longer reach my whole life. I’ve got a 65-inch reach, Conor has a 74-inch reach, I’ve been sparring with him for a very long time and I know that I don’t have trouble landing on anyone. The reach thing doesn’t bother me at all. I’m used to it, I know how to deal with it and it’s not going to be a factor in this fight.”

When asked for a prediction, Lobov revealed that he expects a similar performance to his 2013 bout against towering Swede Martin Svensson, who he finished with a knockout in the second round. Even if White looks to take Lobov down, he maintained that he will “force” the American to trade on the feet.

“If he wants to stand I can see this fight being very similar to my fight with Svensson,” said Lobov. “I’m hoping for a first round KO, but if White decides to go in and grapple and he’s scared to exchange, then he might drag it into the second. He definitely won’t see the end of the second round. I don’t need a gentleman’s agreement with this guy, I’ll force him to stand.”

@PetesyCarroll

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