Lobov Accepts Jackson callout, talks UFC future and McGregor Staying at 170


Artem Lobov put in his usual shift last night at the UFC 196 open workouts, as Conor McGregor looked more explosive than ever going through his spectacular arsenal of techniques to the glee of hundreds of onlookers at the Jabbawockeez Theater.

For ‘The Russian Hammer’, the man that will stand across from McGregor on Saturday night makes his teammates showdown more exiting than usual.

“I’ve always enjoyed watching Diaz fight,” he said after making his way down from the stage. “He is one of the guys that I have a lot of respect for. He comes to fight and not many guys do, so I’m looking forward to it.”

It hasn’t been a quiet week for Lobov either. Yesterday, the man who fell to Mickey Gall to secure the youngster his shot at CM Punk, Mike Jackson, called out McGregor’s primary sparring partner. Given Jackson’s striking background, he believes that his best chance of getting a UFC win lies in meeting the TUF finalist in a “stand and bang” bout at lightweight.

According to Lobov, given his two losses thus far under the UFC banner, he is “not in a position” to pick and choose his opponents.

“I’m not in a position where I can pick and choose,” he explained. “Beggars can’t be choosers and I’ll take whatever I’m given. You know, today I just woke up and I saw some guy called me out and as always, I just accepted.

“Whatever weight it is, whatever venue, I’m ready to go. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to show what I can do and why I’m Conor McGregor’s sparring partner and not someone else.

“I haven’t been able to show those skills that I have, and that’s something I really get to show one day.”

“It’s been a crazy rollercoaster for me and as they say, ‘live fast, die young’. That’s literally what seems to have happened to me over the last three months. I’ve had two UFC fights, I’ve had two fights on The Ultimate Fighter, so I don’t really know what to take from it.

“I’m definitely down to fight, there is never a bad time to fight for me.”

Lobov revealed that he is still unsure where his future lies with the world’s flagship MMA promotion, and he stated that he expects to be cut on the back of his two defeats.

“Nothing has been said to me. Maybe now that I’m out here with Conor someone might talk to me. To be honest, I expect to get cut. If I’m honest, I deserve to get cut. I lost two fights, so if I get cut I will understand why they are doing that. Other guys deserve their chance, I’ve had mine and I blew it. Hopefully I can fight my way back in, or maybe something will come out of this thing with Mike Jackson.

“That sounds good and that sounds like a fight that maybe could get me back to winning ways. It could help me get my confidence back and finally show what I can do on the world stage.”

Based on how “enjoyable” this week has been for ‘The Notorious’, Lobov maintained that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if McGregor stays at welterweight after his debut in the weight class against Diaz on Saturday night

“I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Conor stays at welterweight. He’s really enjoying the camp. It’s the first time that we’ve been this close to the fight and it’s still really enjoyable. We’re eating steaks, we’re eating out all the time – it’s just been a happy camp and the training has been unbelievable as a result of that.

“I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he stays here and makes everyone else come up if they want to fight him. Let’s be honest, fighting shouldn’t be about weight cuts, it should be about combat.”

Finally, Lobov gave his prediction for the much anticipated main event clash.

“I struggle to see Nate making it out of the first round. He’s a tough guy, he always coms to fight, but I just see him coming out aggressive as he always does. He’s going to get hit, he’s going to go on the back foot and that will be the end of it.”


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