Cub Swanson and Artem Lobov faced off in an action fight at featherweight tonight (Sat., April 22, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 108 live on FOX Sports 1 from inside Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.
Cub Swanson had three straight wins at his back, the latest a 2016 Fight of the Year candidate against “Korean Superboy” Doo Ho Choi. Artem Lobov had back-to-back wins, but was the biggest underdog on the card against top 10 featherweight Swanson.
Lobov stood impassive as Bruce Buffer called out his name. Cub Swanson paced back and forth, glaring and squinting at Lobov. They touched gloves at the staredown.
Swanson came out loose, and ate a left straight as Lobov countered a kick. Lobov stuffed a takedown attempt and they clinched, Lobov driving Swanson to the cage. He got a takedown, putting Swanson on his back. He put his head into Swanson’s chest and landed some ground-and-pound before Swanson got back to his feet. Swanson landed a left, and Lobov threw a kick off the arms. Swanson landed a right hand to the body and ducked beneath the counter hook. Lobov hit a left off Swanson’s raised forearms. Swanson landed a rear hand to the body. Lobov hit an outside leg kick. Lobov timed the outside leg kick of Swanson to land a left straight. Lobov was looking to target the leg with kicks, and hit a nice uppercut. Swanson landed another right hand, and threw up a head kick. The first round had been surprisingly well matched.
Lobov stepped forward with a combination, and they proceeded to trade heavy leather. Swanson rocked Lobov with a high kick. They exchanged, both men connecting. Swanson hat a jab that Lobov countered. Swanson was swinging wild, looking for the knockout. Lobov caught him with a short counter that wobbled Swanson as he stepped forward in that deep lunge. They clinched, trading knees in the center of the cage. After an extended clinch, Swanson surprised Lobov with a footsweep-throw, getting top position. He got full mount, then the back of Lobov. He alternated between punches and looking for a rear-naked choke. Lobov tripoded, then stood up with Cub on his back, eventually getting free with 10 seconds to go. Swanson lunged in with a wild right hand and Lobov hit a short counter as the round ended.
Owen Roddy advised Lobov to use his kicks- “don’t let him settle.” They opened with Lobov throwing volume as Swanson blocked with his forearms. Swanson landed a left hook, and they grinned and nodded to each other. Swanson slipped a left hand, then landed his own right. Lobov was connecting as well as the fight stayed mostly in boxing range. Swanson dove in with an elbow, and they clinched for a moment. Lobov hit a body shot and ate a left hook. Swanson hit a lean-back counter and drove forward, clipping Lobov. He rocked Lobov with a wheel kick, but Lobov backed him off with a stiff jab. Herb Dean called a stop to the fight to check a cut over Lobov’s eye. The fight began again after the doctor’s okay. Swanson threw that lead leg side kick to the knee, then hit Lobov with a left hook. Both men were connecting, but Swanson followed a left hook with a left high kick that caught Lobov clean. Lobov was showing a tremendous chin as Swanson began to pick him apart. Swanson staggered him with a short right hand to the jaw. Lobov caught a cartwheel kick and got Swanson to the canvas just as the bell sounded.
Swanson hit a front kick to begin Round 4. Lobov stepped in with an uppercut that seemed to buckle Swanson against the cage for a moment. He pressed Swanson agains the cage for a moment. Swanson ate a right hook, and Lobov stepped forward. Swanson landed a left hook and ate a right in return. They clinched, and Lobov looked for the knee tap he had hit twice before. Swanson hit a beautiful spinning elbow out of the clinch. He then put up a triple jab as Lobov stayed in his face, and another right hand. Lobov’s ability to hang in and throw with Swanson was keeping him competitive in this fight despite eating the best of Cub’s shots. They clinch once more in the center of the cage. Swanson ate a right hook, but countered with a combination. Lobov threw a hard leg kick. Swanson hit a lead right. Lobov landed a nice knee from the Thai plumb as the round wound down.
They bowed to each other in respect to begin the final round. Lobov swings hard as Swanson hits a front kick. Swanson looked off balance and stumbles back off a combination. He grabbed the clinch and pushed Lobov against the fence. Swanson and Lobov were both connecting, and Lobov didn’t look bothered at all by Swanson’s power, or vice versa. Swanson hit a body kick, and Lobov drove for a takedown that Cub stuffed. Lobov held Swanson against the fence, but Swanson landed a side knee to the face. Swanson stepped in with a hard combination, timing a lead head kick after a right-left. Lobov was not bothered, and pressured into the clinch. Swanson hit one of those beautiful judo throws he is known for. Lobov worked his way back to his feet, and for the least ten seconds they traded leather in the pocket, Swanson getting the better of the exchanges. What a fight. Lobov has an incredible chin, and Swanson got a chance to show off his impressive variety of skills in all phases of MMA. With four-straight wins since his twin losses to Frankie Edgar and Max Holloway, he is as good a candidate as any for a title shot in the featherweight division.
Swanson said in the post-fight interview that his coaches were saying Lobov was hurt, and he suspected they were lying but went after Artem anyway. He called out the winner of Aldo and Holloway. “It’s time. I’ve won 9 out of 11. Let’s do it.” He said Lobov had gained his respect in the cage. Lobov, meanwhile, gave props to Swanson for being the better man on the night.
Official result: Cub Swanson def. Artem Lobov by unanimous decision (49-46x2, 50-45)
For complete UFC Fight Night 108 results and coverage click here.