Artem Lobov Surprised By Referee’s Quick Clinch Breaks Against Paulie Malignaggi

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TAMPA, FL - JUNE 22: Artem Lobov (L) and Paulie Malignaggi exchange blows during the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships at Florida State Fairgrounds Entertainment Hall on June 22, 2019, in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images) GETTY
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Artem Lobov was able to get the job done against Paulie Malignaggi last night (Sat. June 22, 2019) at Bare-Knuckle FC (BKFC) 6.

Malignaggi is a former boxing World Champion, so Lobov had a calculated game-plan heading into the contest. Lobov wanted to clinch with Malignaggi as much as possible, however, during the fight, the referee broke the clinch exchanges up fairly quickly (via MMA Junkie):

“The clinch is the huge part of my gameplan; I don’t want to (expletive) mess around with a pro boxer,” Lobov said. “That’s his game, so even if I felt I was better than him, it would be stupid of me to just exchange there with him.”

Lobov acknowledged that, in boxing, the clinch is separated quickly, as it’s not allowed. However, in a sport like bare-knuckle, where it is, it was a bit surprising to have the exchanges broken up so fast:

“I was a little bit surprised with the referee when we were in the clinch,” Lobov said. “I was on top of him, and right away they were breaking up the clinch. If you look at some of the boxing fights, even in a boxing fight, the clinch is not allowed, they allow people to do a lot more in the clinch than they do here, where the clinch is allowed.”

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