It may not be the fight he wanted, but Artem Lobov will receive a huge step up in competition.
Initially, Lobov was scheduled to fight Zubaira Tukhugov in Canada on October 27th. However, due to the events that transpired at UFC 229, those plans changed. Tukhugov was one of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s teammates who stormed the Octagon and attacked Conor McGregor.
As a result, he has been removed from his fight with Lobov, much to “The Russian Hammer’s” disappointment, and UFC President Dana White suggested he may be cut from the promotion as well. The possibility of Tukhugov losing his spot on the UFC roster presents other issues. UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has threatened to leave the promotion if his teammate is cut.
While the UFC scrambles to deal with those issues, Lobov must shift his focus from Tukhugov to a new opponent. Per ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, longtime lightweight and featherweight competitor Michael Johnson will step in to face Lobov. This is a huge step up in competition for the Russian.
Johnson has recorded wins over the UFC’s elite, such as Tony Ferguson, Edson Barboza, and Dustin Poirier. He brings a stout wrestling game and vicious knockout power to the table. Lobov and Johnson will serve as the co-main event for UFC Moncton.
The event goes down live from the Avenir Centre in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada on October 27, 2018.