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Artem Lobov sues Conor McGregor for millions over Proper 12 whiskey deal

“The Russian Hammer” claims he was the one who started McGregor’s whiskey business and is demanding 5 percent of proceeds from the $600 million sale of Proper 12.

UFC Fight Night: Lobov v Ishihara Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Artem Lobov has always been proud of his part in creating Conor McGregor’s infamous Proper 12 whiskey, but now he’s looking for something a bit more tangible than bragging rights.

The retired UFC fighter and bareknuckle boxer initiated a High Court action in Ireland yesterday, demanding five percent of the proceeds McGregor made from the $600 million sale of Proper 12 back in April 2021.

“My client is a retired professional fighter with a master’s degree from DCU in Finance and Capital Markets,” Lobov’s lawyer told The Irish Independent, which broke the story. “We have issued High Court proceedings on his behalf to enforce an agreement with Mr. McGregor regarding the Proper No. Twelve whiskey brand.

“My client was the initial creator and co-founder of the concept to launch an Irish whiskey brand associated with Mr. McGregor,” he concluded. “As these matters are now before the court, we will not be making any further comment.”

Lobov was a long-time friend and training partner of McGregor back when “The Notorious” was just getting started in mixed martial arts (MMA). Recently, Lobov has been talking more about how he was an instrumental figure behind the extremely profitable Proper 12 brand. According to him, McGregor was considering getting in a vodka deal with “The Mountain” Hafthor Bjornsson. Lobov told him to wait a minute and let him investigate other options.

“I went on and met all different whiskey distilleries. I called some and met some in person. I did my research and put a beautiful deal together,” Lobov told TalkSport back in August. “Once the deal was ready, I went to Conor and I said, ‘Conor, I have the deal ready for you. This is going to be a billion-dollar deal, no messing here.’ I’m not sure if he took me seriously or not at the time with the billion dollars.”

In the same interview, he revealed that McGregor offered him $1 million for his part in creating Proper 12, but Lobov turned it down. Now, Lobov is hoping to get up to $30 million from his lawsuit.

“Proper 12 was and still is the biggest deal that I ever came up with,” Artem wrote in a caption under the interview. “It is incredible to see the success that it has achieved in such a short time!”

McGregor spokesperson Karen J. Kessler denied Lobov’s claims as “incorrect.”

“Proper No. Twelve Irish whiskey was created, developed, branded and tirelessly promoted by Conor McGregor,” she wrote in a statement to Irish Independent.

Whatever the case, there’s a good chance this lawsuit destroys the long-standing bromance between Artem Lobov and Conor McGregor, one that was so powerful it resulted in the legendary parking garage brawl where Team “Notorious” attacked a bus with Khabib Nurmagomedov on it.

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