Former mixed martial artist Lobov does not get why the UFC has received backlash for booking a fight that Diaz wanted. The fan favorite had been rallying to complete the last outing on his current deal. After months of being in a public dispute with the company over being shelved, the news of his next bout came as a surprise.
Artem Lobov defends UFC for Nate Diaz vs. Khamzat Chimaev booking
When the UFC announced Diaz vs. Chimaev, reactions from the MMA community were plenty. British legend Dan Hardy labeled it an ‘assassination attempt’ on Diaz, while others called it disrespectful to the legendary fighter. The pairing feels a bit odd due to the fact that Diaz is in the final stages of his competitive career whereas Chimaev is the hungry wolf on the way up.
In an interview with talkSPORT, Artem Lobov shared his thoughts on the matchup. He doesn’t understand why people are outraged over the booking and argued against the idea of him being given an easy last fight in the promotion.
“I don’t understand people saying that, that’s f****** crazy,” Lobov said (h/t Jordan Ellis/talkSPORT). “If you’re in the UFC and you still want to compete then you have to compete.
“Imagine you had a 100-metre race and you tell the rest of the guys, ‘don’t go 100 percent, go a bit slower, make it easier for the other guys.’
“What the f*** are you talking about? Are you a fighter? Are you ready to fight? Then retire. I have always been against padding records and this to me would feel like you’re trying to get an easy fight.”
Lobov respects Diaz but doesn’t like easy fights
‘The Russian Hammer’ was respectful of Diaz and made sure to clear it out in the light of his defense for the UFC.
“All respect to Nate Diaz for taking such a tough fight. Khamzat is a killer,” Lobov added.
“This is a massive fight and I respect Nate for accepting such a tough fight. That to me shows he is still in a great mindset, and anything can happen in a fight.”
“I will never, ever accept that they should give him an easier fight. If you’re ready 100 percent and you’re fighting, then fight. If you’re not there anymore or whatever, just stop fighting, don’t make a mockery of the sport.”
The former bare-knuckle boxer reflected on his own career, satisfied with the losses on his record because there wasn’t an easy bout.
“What they gonna do give you an easy fight? No. That is just not me at all. I would never do that in my life and I don’t like seeing that,” he concluded.
“My record is messed up. I’ve had all the losses but I hold my head high. I’ve never padded my record, never turned down a challenge, and never been tapped. This is something that I’ll carry with me proudly for the rest of my life.”