Artem Lobov may have lost to Cub Swanson in the main event of last night’s (Sat., April 22, 2017) UFC Fight Night 108 (watch full highlights here) from Nashville, but the unranked “Russian Hammer” gained a ton of fans in the process by meeting the No. 4-ranked featherweight in one of the most entertaining bouts of the year so far.

Lobov’s previous claim to fame was his close friendship with UFC lightweight champ Conor McGregor, but his brawl with Swanson proved the SBG Gym product was a game challenger with a chin of iron and the heart of a lion. After the bout, McGregor, the man many feel is directly responsible for Lobov even being in the UFC. took to his official Instagram account to offer some encouraging words of support and respect for his close friend:

Not surprisingly, McGregor revealed he was proud of his sparring partner, choosing to focus on Lobov’s courage in the face of the many ups and downs in a fighter’s career:

“That was a great fight. Proud of my brother Artem! What a ride it’s been for the Russian Hammer. In a career filled with ups and downs he has never backed down from anything. Nothing but love and respect always my brother.”

Legions of fans were quick to jump all over Lobov for his seemingly undeserving record and his perceived riding of McGregor’s coattails, but he proved he deserved to be in the cage with the best 145-pound talent in the world last night by absorbing an absolutely insane amount of flashy, technical offense from Swanson, including a spinning wheel kick, spinning elbow, head kicks, and an endless barrage of power punches.

The “Russian Hammer” earned every bit of his nickname last night, and it’s hardly a surprise to see the man who got him there show his respect for the all-out brawl fans were treated to last night.

Now, only if “The Notorious” would return to the UFC to hand fans his own brand of mixed martial arts entertainment.

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