Former UFC fighter Artem Lobov has revealed that he was close to signing a deal with the European MMA promotion KSW, before COVID-19 put things on pause.
Since being released from his UFC contract in January of 2019, Artem “The Russian Hammer” Lobov ventured into the sport of bare-knuckle boxing. He signed a 3-fight contract with Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC), which also allowed him to compete in other sports and promotions at the same time.
Lobov honoured his BKFC contract, completing all 3 fights. He faced fellow former-UFC fighter Jason Knight twice, going 1-1 against him. Lobov also took on the former WBA welterweight world boxing champion Paulie Malignaggi, winning the fight via close unanimous decision.
Now a free-agent, Lobov has been looking to lock-in a contract with similar terms to his old BKFC contract. According to “The Russian Hammer”, he wants to sign a non-exclusive contract so he can continue to compete in different sports, including boxing, MMA and bare-knuckle fighting.
He recently talked to BJPENN.com, revealing that he was close to signing such a deal with “Konfrontacja Sztuk Walki” (KSW), which is widely considered to be the premiere MMA organization in Poland and one of the leading in Europe.
“To be honest I was talking to a few promotions and I was talking about another bare-knuckle fight. I had some boxing offers, and I was talking to KSW the promotion in Poland,” Lobov said. “It was getting close and we were about to finalize the fights then the virus hit and everything is on hold. Now, I just have to wait and see what happens. But, I was close to getting a fight done with KSW, so I want to fight ASAP.”
Lobov also said that he would be open to signing a one-fight deal with the UFC to face his rival Zubaira Tukhugov:
“I would love to fight for them but they are the least likely to offer that. Unless they give me just a one-fight deal with Zubaira that we are talking about. Zubaira wants it, we want it,” he said. “Hopefully, they can make that happen and every single dollar that I would make in that fight would go to charity. Hopefully, the UFC will make it happen.”
He also revealed that he hasn’t been particularly impressed by Tukhugov’s UFC run. If the fight does happen, Lobov hopes to land a main event slot so that he can “break him” over 5-rounds.
“I would be pressing him. I’d love for it to be the main event as I want to for five rounds. In his fights, he just gets a takedown and stays away and wins on points. I know he finished his last opponent but the most part that is how his fights have been. Before the UFC he hasn’t been tested, he really only has one really win outside the UFC which was against Kuat Khamitov and it was a split-decision,” he concluded. “He had some losses before the UFC as well. In my opinion, he hasn’t been tested that much. He had some success in the UFC but he hasn’t impressed so I like my chances in that fight. I feel like I could break him, which is why I want the five-rounds.”
Artem Lobov last fought professionally in a rematch against Jason Knight at BKFC 9 in November of last year. He lost the fight via corner stoppage in the final round.
This article first appeared on CLOSEDGUARDMEDIA.com on 26th March, 2020.