Things haven’t gone exactly as planned for Straight Blast Gym brawler Artem Lobov, but the 31-year-old Russian has still carved out a nice spot in the UFC’s 145-pound division.
While Lobov has compiled a pedestrian 2-4 record since entering the promotion back in 2015, he’s been an extremely exciting fighter to watch, evident by his Fight of the Night performance against featherweight contender Cub Swanson last April. Lobov’s willingness to throw leather has kept him afloat in a promotion that usually cuts someone in his position, but will “Russian Hammer” be able to stick around much longer if he loses to Alex Caceres at UFC 223 on April 7 in Brooklyn, New York?
Should he finally get his UFC pink slip, Lobov already has plans in motion to jump ship from mixed martial arts (MMA) and test his luck in other combat sports.
“Perhaps boxing or K-1. I don’t lack any offers,” Lobov said during a recent interview with BJ Penn Radio. “I have a lot of offers on the table. Some very good financial offers for more money than I’m actually currently getting in the UFC.”
“UFC, this is the premier organization,” he continued. “This is where the toughest matchups are and this is what I’m always after. Of course it’s a place where I want to be. But I was gonna prepare that, if I was let go I had a plan of action in place.
“And I wasn’t gonna dwell on it, I wasn’t gonna be crying or begging or anything like that. I was ready to move on and tackle the next problem and see what happens next.”
Lobov, who is well known as Conor McGregor’s main training partner, has already teased a boxing match with McGregor nemesis and former world champion Paulie Malignaggi. Should Lobov ever exit UFC and take his talents to the ring, he feels like he’d fair well against the best in the world.
“I know I’ve got the skill. I know there’s not a man in the world in any of the striking arts that would just run over me,” Lobov said. “So I’m comfortable in competing K-1 or boxing. And I still am, even though I’m in the UFC now.
“But perhaps at the end of my contract or whatever, or down the line in the future, I don’t wanna rule this one out. I certainly will explore all avenues. K-1, boxing, all of them.”
Luckily for Lobov, he won’t have to make a decision between K-1 or boxing if he’s able to take care of “Bruce Leroy” in Brooklyn in two weeks. If “Russian Hammer” can capture his first Octagon victory in well over a year the promotion will have no problem keeping him around.