The always-entertaining Cub Swanson is headed for a bit of a strange turn in his career when he faces off with 2-2 UFC competitor Artem Lobov, a fighter who’s most known for his friendship with lightweight champ Conor McGregor, in the main event of Saturday’s (April 22, 2017) UFC Fight Night 108 from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.
Swanson staked his claim towards a title shot when he defeated rising sensation Doo Ho Choi on the main card of December 2016’s UFC 206 in an all-out classic that was many fans and media members’ pick for “Fight of the Year.” It was also his third consecutive win after he hit a rough patch with consecutive losses to the absolute best of the 145-pound talent pool in Max Holloway and Frankie Edgar in 2014-2015.
But when a Twitter showdown unexpectedly erupted between “The Russian Hammer” and him, Swanson decided he had to teach McGregor’s friend a lesson. Appearing on this week’s “The MMA Hour,” he told Ariel Helwani that talent-wise, Lobov does not even deserve to have a roster spot:
“I don’t believe that talent-wise he shouldn’t be in the UFC,” he said. “I feel like with his record and things like that there are so many more deserving people to be in the UFC. So somebody in that situation, if it wouldn’t have been for Conor, he would have had to stream together a lot more wins and do a lot more things. So I think people are pissed off about that. I particularly don’t like him for that.
“When you treat your career early on really crappy, you can’t expect to be in a good position. That’s just the way pro fighting is. So, I mean, I don’t think it’s a lack of skill set. I just think it was a lack of taking care of his record and doing all the things at the right time.”
A longtime veteran of the WEC and UFC with 31 professional bouts to his name, Swanson opened up on why he doesn’t find Lobov at all genuine after he spewed some what he deemed outlandish trash talk online:
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“Because he’s trying to be somebody, like a lot of these young guys are trying to be somebody that they’re not,” he said. “And he’s trying to talk crap. You know, he called me a b*tch and he said I had no balls. I feel like those two things aren’t true statements. If feel like if you’re going to call me out on something, call me out on something that’s true, but those aren’t true. To me it’s just ridiculous, and I’d like to make an example out of him.”