Artem Lobov was one of the more notable names in the UFC despite never cracking the top ten rankings. Lobov had skills, as evident by his victory over former boxing champion Paulie Malignaggi but his association with the megastar, Conor McGregor, brought the Russian heaps of notoriety. Moreover, Lobov was able to sustain his presence in the media as much like McGregor, the Russian Hammer did not mince his words and often found himself in controversy and the crosshairs of other fighters.
Artem Lobov was a part of UFC from 2015 to 2019 and after his release from the promotion, the former UFC featherweight fought four more times under the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship banner and in July of last year, Lobov announced his retirement from all forms of combat sports.
Recently, Lobov was a guest on the MMA Hour hosted by Ariel Helwani and during the 40-minute interview, the former mixed martial artist went on to reveal the reasons for his retirement, citing his own assessment of his skills as the biggest reason.
Lobov stated that he still loved the fight game and contemplated his retirement several times over but after his last two losses, he came to terms with the fact that he was not good enough anymore to hang at the level he deemed appropriate.
“It was a difficult decision for me to make. I actually love fighting. I love this sport. I love this life. When I made that decision and it was like f***, this is it. It felt like all my dreams had been crushed,” Lobov said during his interview with Helwani. “I know I have a lot of losses, but even when I lost sometimes, I was like this is just a minor setback. This is just a setback. I will get better. I will train harder. I will go again. I will try again and I will come back and I will achieve the goals that I set out to achieve.”
“So now this time when I retired, I had to come to this point where I said to myself, ‘Well, that’s it. You will not achieve those goals. It will not happen for you. You weren’t good enough. You didn’t manage to get where you wanted to get. This is it now for you as a fighter. Time to hang them up, Artem.’ It was an emotional time for me.”
Despite his retirement, Lobov stated that he would return to fighting if someone offered seven him figures for a fight with bitter rival, Zubaira Tukhugov, a highly unlikely event but in the crazy world of MMA, never say never.
Regardless of all the memes, Lobov deserves respect for his brutal honesty about himself and his abilities. And despite his not so impressive record, Lobov left it all inside the cage each time he stepped inside and this is something Lobov takes pride in. Rightfully so.
“In real life, you lose a lot of the time but you need to keep going… When I come to fight they know what to expect, it will be violent, I will march forward, be aggressive, and throw bombs. This is an entertainment business and I provide it more than most.”
Artem Lobov is 35 years old and last fought in July of 2021, suffering a TKO loss to Denys Berinchyk. Overall, Lobov amassed a 13-15-1 record in the realm of MMA and a 2-2 record when fighting bare-knuckle.
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