Artem Lobov will aim to extend his two-fight UFC win streak tomorrow night (Sat., April 22, 2017) when he takes on Cub Swanson at UFC Fight Night 108 live on FOX Sports 1 from Nashville, Tennessee. It will be Lobov’s biggest Octagon opportunity to date, and yet another chance for him to improve his growing promotional stock.
That said, it hasn’t been an easy journey for the Conor McGregor training partner since he made his UFC debut in 2015. Lobov not only lost his first two Octagon appearances, but actually asked for his release in early 2016 in effort to gain traction outside of the promotion.
“I messaged the UFC and told them to release me,” revealed Lobov during a recent interview with News Talk. “I explained that I understood that I had two losses and if they were going to cut me it would be fair. I told them I had found a champion outside of the UFC to fight, who I felt was the best unsigned talent outside of the promotion.
“I was confident that the other promotion wanted to put the fight on, but then the UFC came back to me with another matchup. I took it because UFC is where I want to be.”
Lobov, 30, has turned the corner and managed to capture decision victories over Teruto Ishihara and Chris Avila to land a big main event spot opposite Swanson at UFC Fight Night 108. As any learning fighter would attest to, Lobov believes his early UFC struggles allowed him to better himself inside of the cage.
“Having those losses was not easy, but I’m not a moaner and I’m not a complainer. I’m a go-getter and an earner,” added Lobov. “I was never going to stay down, crying. I dusted myself off and I was ready to either leave the UFC or get another matchup. I wasn’t begging anyone for another fight, I wasn’t crying about the bad situation.
“Instead of that, I just thought about what I needed to do to fix the situation and get me to where I needed to be. I did just that and now I am where I want to be.”
If all goes as planned for “Russian Hammer,” he’ll extend his 145-pound win streak to three with a win over Swanson in Nashville and further remove himself from the UFC chopping block he voluntarily joined last year.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 108 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, and then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET, before the main card start time at 10 p.m. ET, also on FOX Sports 1.