Artem Lobov has promised a violent end for his Bare Knuckle FC opponent Jason Knight ahead of their respective debuts in the sport tonight.
Speaking in a recent interview with RTSport ahead of his debut in the world of bare-knuckle boxing, Lobov was quite transparent about his run in the UFC but made it clear that the more linear world of pugilism will suit his skillset much more.
“It’s no secret that I always struggled with wrestlers – this was my downfall in the UFC. I was able to strike with guys like Michael Johnson. He is a Top 10 fighter in the world, he’s the only guy to beat Tony Ferguson in the UFC. He’s the guy who knocked out Dustin Poirier, who is going to be fighting for a UFC belt right now. And I went toe to toe with this guy and I made him wrestle – he didn’t want to stand with me.
“As you can see, I clearly have a big, big advantage if it’s just a stand-up fight, and especially if it’s just a stand-up fight with hands only. I’ve never been knocked out – this chin is made out of granite. Born in Russia, forged in Ireland, as I say. So I look forward to the challenge. I think it’s going to suit me really well and I’m going to knock out a few guys.”
“At first sight, it might seem more dangerous, but if you look at it more closely you realize that actually, it’s a very technical sport.
“The fact that you’re not wearing any gloves – no protection for your hands, you’ll break your hands very easily – [means] you have to be very precise, you have to be technical. You can’t just start swinging like crazy. You’ll just end up breaking your hands and that’s it, there are no other tools you can use in the fight. There’s are also less places to cover and to shell up. It’s very hard to do that – you don’t have a [gloved] cushion to protect yourself.
“It’s an interesting challenge, and that’s what I like. It makes my mind work, it makes my brain work. I have to figure it out and I really look forward to competing in this great sport.”
As for his opponent Jason Knight, who is also a veteran of the UFC, Lobov paid his respects to the fighter known as ‘Hick Diaz’, but made it clear that the difference in quality will be felt once things get underway.
“Jason is a very good fighter, I have a lot of respect for him as a fighter.
“Not only is he a good fighter, he was a Top 10 UFC featherweight. But if you break him down and you look at how he achieved that, his style is very diverse. He’s good everywhere. But in boxing he’ll only have strikes, he’ll only have his hands.
“Even if he lands some shots on me, everybody knows this chin is made out of granite. I’ll just smile at him and keep walking forward. And when I land, it’s night-night Jason.”
Lobov sprung into the public eye on the back of his performances on the twenty-second season of The Ultimate Fighter, a season that saw him record three knockout wins, the only three KO’s on the entire season.
With a fresh opportunity in the world of bare-knuckle boxing ahead of him, the popular SBG star has every chance to place himself in the path of some serious opportunities in the near future – with a grudge match with the former pro-boxer Paulie Malignaggi seemingly ahead of him if he can pull off the win tonight.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena