Artem Lobov will be making his bare knuckle boxing debut next month (Sat. April 6, 2019).
“The Russian Hammer” faces off against fellow former UFC fighter Jason Knight under the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) banner. Also signed to BKFC is ex-WBA welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi. If Lobov emerges victorious, Malignaggi is hoping to land a fight with Conor McGregor’s teammate next.
Speaking to BJPenn.com recently, Lobov said his performance at BKFC will be a preview for what he has in store for Malignaggi:
“April 6th, please tune in and see for yourself, and treat this as a little preview for what I have in store for Paulie Malignaggi,” Lobov said. This is fight [with Knight], I will burst through this guy, literally.
“Choo Choo motherf***er. The Siberian Express is on its way. So I will burst through this guy April 6th, and then down the line I want Paulie Malignaggi. This is the fight that I’m really after.”
Malignaggi has a bad history with the McGregor camp. He was initially part of McGregor’s training camp for his fight against Floyd Mayweather before some leaked sparring footage favoring McGregor upset Malignaggi, resulting in him leaving the camp.
He has been seeking revenge for the incident ever since. Now, Lobov can’t believe his “luck” that he actually gets to step into the ring against Malignaggi in a bare knuckle fight:
“Honestly, at first I couldn’t believe it,” Lobov said. “I could not believe my luck. I thought I was never gonna get that guy into the ring. I knew he needed money, but I thought he was after proper, big, big pay days, like the Conor fight, which he tried to make happen for many, many years.
“Let’s be honest, there’s no chance of that fight happening. He’s not on the level of Conor. So I thought this guy was just gonna talk and yap around and never really step into the ring. I thought he was done, but I was wrong. Money talks. and we all need to eat. Paulie’s broke, otherwise he wouldn’t be commentating every week for a couple of hundred bucks.
“So he’s back. He’s back in the ring and trust me, this is not the thing he wants to do.