Former UFC featherweight Artem Lobov is returning to MMA for the first time since being released by the promotion.

‘The Russian Hammer’ went one to compete in Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship three times. The popular training partner of Conor McGregor twice went to war with Jason Knight and also partook in a bitter grudge match against ex-boxing champion Paulie Malignaggi.

Lobov has now ended his BKFC run by signing a one-fight deal with Arena Fight Championship. He will return to the cage against Ylies Djiroun (17-6) in December in France. It will be the Russian’s first MMA bout since October 2018.

The 34-year-old has lost three straight MMA bouts. Lobov fell to consecutive decision defeats against Cub Swanson, Andre Fili and Michael Johnson before walking away from the UFC.

Djiroun last fought in December 2019 and picked up a unanimous decision win over Maxim Pugachev at Double Red XFN. Prior to that, he dropped two close split decision losses against Islam Mamedov and Loik Radzhabov in the PFL.

Will you watch Artem Lobov vs. Ylies Djiroun?

A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.