Artem “The Russian Hammer” Lobov and Michael “The Menace” Johnson faced off in a featherweight contest tonight (Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018) from Moncton Events Center in New Brunswick, Canda, live and free on Fox Sports 1.
Johnson was a huge favorite even as a late replacement. He jabbed in, avoiding Artem’s return hook. Lobov threw up a high kick off Johnson’s arms. Johnson was using a nice dipping jab to the body from southpaw. Artem lowered his hands and walked forward, trying to get the fight he wanted. Johnson kicked his lag, then countered Lobov when he returned the kick. Johnson landed a solid left hand that made Lobov pause for a second. Lobov landed a body kick, ate a body jab. Johnson threw three punches and his last one landed. He was clearly faster, and getting the better of the excahnges, but Lobov was staying in his face, landing another body kick.
Lobov was looking to land those hammers in the second but Johnson was doing a good job of moving his head and feet out of the way after he threw. Lobov landed a jab, Johnson landed a left to the body. Lobov ate a straight left, Artem shook his head as if to say he was unfazed. Johnson stumbled, off-balance, but shook his finger to deny it was because he was rocked. He stayed looking for an opening, occasionally landing the kick or hook as Johnson moved and circled around him. They traded right and left hands. They traded, and Artem walking down Johnson began to be somewhat mesmerizing- he had even opened damage on Johnson’s left eye.
Lobov landed a leg kick, ate several quick jabs from Johnson. They grinned and laughed at each other. Johnson landed another straight left hand. Lobov landed another low calf kick. Johnson jabbed and circled away from a Lobov combination. Lobov landed an uppercut, then a hook. Johnson thew up a high kick, landed a hard left hook. He grinned and waved Lobov on. He jabbed again, then again. Lobov was looking a little tired, but was still game. His punches were coming a little slower, though, and there were less of them. Johnson landed a one-two. They traded leg kicks. Lobov walked right into an unexpected double-leg from Johnson, who went back to his wrestling roots to put Lobov on his back for the remainder of the fight.
Johnson said after taking the bout on late notice, he had gotten as close as he could have to fight weight, with 30 pounds to cut in fight week. He credited Lobov for taking the bout, saying he was very tough, and said he was looking to fight again in Australia in December, so if anyone wanted to fight then he would be taking applications.
Official result: Michael Johnson def. Artem Lobov via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28x2)
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