Ahead of his return to professional mixed martial arts on December 12th. under the Arena Fight Championship banner, UFC veteran, Artem ‘The Russian Hammer’ Lobov has revealed he plans on calling time on his storied career in two year’s time.
Lobov, a staple of Straight Blast Gym under John Kavanagh, has featured prominently alongside former two-weight world champion and teammate, ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor during the upcoming UFC 257 headliner’s career rise.
A contestant on The Ultimate Fighter 22, Lobov featured in the season’s lightweight final — ultimately dropping a unanimous decision defeat to tournament victor, grappling ace, Ryan Hall. On his route to the season’s finale, Lobov had notched wins over James Jerkins, Chris Gruetzemacher, and Julian Erosa.
On December 12th. — Lobov enters his promotional bow opposite Professional Fighters League alum, Ylies Djiroun, hoping to snap a three-fight skid in professional mixed martial arts.
During his time away from the sport, Lobov featured three times under the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship banner, famously scoring a unanimous decision win over fellow Octagon alum, Jason ‘The Kid’ Knight, and former boxing world champion, Paulie Malignaggi, before dropping a decision defeat to the former in a rematch.
Speaking with Jordan Ellis from LowKick MMA recently, Lobov spoke of his willingness to score an eventual rubber-match with Knight sometime next year but insisted that his career in combat sports is close to its ultimate conclusion.
“Yeah, why not? Wherever the money will be,” Lobov said when asked about his interest in a potential trilogy with Knight. “Whoever offers the paycheck, I mean — I don’t hide it anymore, that’s it, I’m going to fight for two more years and that’s it. I have to try and make as much money as I can. I’m always making sure I’m a good business partner for any promoter that decides to work with me, I never pull out which is great.“
“When you invest so much money and costs into promotion of the fight and then the fighter pulls out, then you have to cancel,” Lobov said. “That’s a big cost and a big risk for any promoter, you know. With me, that risk doesn’t exist. In terms of the fans, they an always expect a great show and an aggressive fight. So people know exactly what they’re gonna get. And I would like to be happy with the paychecks that I get and return. So that’s my plan for the next two years.“
The 34-year-old striker went on to explain how he plans on remaining active if he’s made plans for a couple more years of competition — hoping to exit combat sports without carrying any regrets alongside him.
“I mean I just wanna fight as much as I can,” Lobov explained. “Because obviously once I know after after that there’ll be no more fighting. You wanna kinda get everything out of it [career], you wanna make sure you have no regrets. You wanna make sure when you’re leaving that you’re satisfied with everything thing and you’ve had enough and that’s it. That’s my plan now — fight as much as I can over the next two years and then that’s it. Adios.“