Artem Lobov is no longer with the UFC.
”The Russian Hammer” announced his free agency with a storm of tweets, and he was clearly excited at all the possibilities ahead of him in MMA and beyond. MMA Fighting confirmed Lobov’s release, which was apparently requested by the fighter and approved by the UFC.
Locked and loaded, ready to take on anyone and everyone!!! Who wants it!!?! @BellatorMMA @KSW_MMA @rizin_PR @bareknucklefc @ONEChampionship @ACA_League— Artem Lobov (@RusHammerMMA) January 29, 2019
K1 has always been on my radar, proper fights!!! Buakaw, Senchai...— Artem Lobov (@RusHammerMMA) January 29, 2019
.send them my way, it would be a huge honour to share the ring with them!!! @GLORY_WS
None of this is particularly surprising news. Lobov had been talking about expanding into kickboxing and other combat sports for over half a year now, and even floated the idea of asking for his release back in 2017. Now he’s gone through with it, and he’s not hesitating to toss out names and organizations he’d like to fight against or work with.
Malinagi and Khan I am ready to go next saturday, where are yous at??!!— Artem Lobov (@RusHammerMMA) January 29, 2019
Boxing is a great sport, but it lacks entertainment lately. Time to bring in the big guns!!! Who wants it!?!— Artem Lobov (@RusHammerMMA) January 29, 2019
Despite being touted by his friend Conor McGregor as one of the toughest guys in the gym, Lobov never managed to gain any traction in the UFC’s extremely tough featherweight division. He made it to the finals of The Ultimate Fighter 22 (with a little help from coach McGregor, who brought him back after a loss), and even headlined a card against Cub Swanson in 2017. Alas, winning decisions remained elusive. He leaves the promotion with a 2-5 record, bringing his overall MMA record to 13-15-1.
But he’s still the greatest featherweight ever to some.
Now we’ll have to wait with bated breath to see what’s next for the durable Russian import, be it cage fighting or bare knuckle boxing or a grudge match against one of his pal Conor’s many detractors. So let’s hear it, Maniacs: where do you want to see Artem next?