With his first UFC main event just weeks away, SBG Ireland featherweight Artem Lobov certainly seems to be in a suitably belligerent mood.
Last weekend, via Twitter, ‘The Russian Hammer’ attacked UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley for “moaning and crying like a little b*tch” while advising ‘T-Wood’ to conduct himself more like SBG welterweight Gunnar Nelson, who had just scored a spectacular submission win over Alan Jouban at UFC London.
During an appearance on Submission Radio this week, Lobov continued to lay into his fellow fighters. First, identifying no specific target, Lobov went on a tirade about one of his pet hates, competitors who pad their records.
“The game is filled with pussies, you know what I mean?” Lobov(14-12-1) asked his Aussie hosts. “It’s filled with them.”
“Of course, how cool is it, you know, you go in there, you tell all your mates that you’re going to be fighting and you go in and you kill the guy in 10 seconds. It looks great, of course. It’s not like me. I come in there and I’m taking on the best guy in the fucking city or in the area or whatever and we have an absolute war and it’s three rounds and I’m beat up and I can’t even fucking train for four or five weeks. Of course, that’s the hard road. It’s not pretty, you know? It’s not easy, but I felt that if you want to be a fighter, if you want to be in the sport, then this is the right approach.
“Hopefully in times it will change. I will keep exposing all of the guys that are padding their records, I will keep pointing the finger at them and I will never have respect for anyone that tries to pad his record. If you want my respect, you got to earn it. And I always give credit where credit is due.”
One fighter whom he did furnish with some of that hard earned credit, though, was Cub Swanson, the man with whom he will tangle in the headliner of UFC Nashville on April 22nd.
“I wouldn’t class him as a pussy,” he said of Swanson, who currently sits fourth in the UFC featherweight rankings. “He always brings it, you know? Fair play to him, he comes to fight. He is not going to run around, he is not going to try to hide in that cage, he is not going to try to grind it. He is going to bring it and he is going to go at it and so will I.”
Lobov, however, has no doubts about how the fight will end.
“When we meet in the middle, I can promise you that I’m not taking a step back. I will put that pressure on him and I will get him out of there,” said the 30-year-old veteran.
The Dublin-based Russian soon went back on the offensive. This time directly targeting UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo.
According to Lobov, the fact that Aldo was happy to accept the promotion from interim titlist to champion after the UFC stripped his conqueror Conor McGregor said a lot about the Brazilian’s character.
“I’ll tell you one thing about Jose Aldo, if I was in his position, I would have never accepted that belt,” Lobov said. “What? So they took the belt from the guy that knocked him out in 13 seconds. They took it off that guy and they handed him that belt and he just takes it and he’s happy and [there is a] smile on his face?”
“Like, what kind of pussy do you have to be to take that? No way in hell would I ever accept that belt. I would say, ‘give me that guy again. I want to fight him, and if he’s not in the division anymore, well then fuck that, I don’t want that belt. Let the other two fight for the belt and then I’ll fight the winner and I’ll earn that belt’. Because now he’s holding a belt that Conor got off him in 13 seconds and he will never be able to get rid of that stain.”
“Even if he beats Max Holloway, he’ll still be holding that same belt. So how are you as a man, as a fighter that respects himself, accept that belt? I would have never done it in my life. I don’t know why he fucking done it.”
“To be honest, to bring more life into the division, it would be better if Holloway won the fight [scheduled for UFC 212 on June 3rd]. But I don’t know how it’s going to play out, to be honest. I don’t really think about it, I don’t give a fuck. I have my own shit to concentrate on. When I get past Cub, we’ll see where that belt is and where I’m at.”
A couple of weeks ago, Lobov suggested that he could see a scenario where Aldo pulls out of the bout with Holloway and the UFC call upon him to replace ‘Scarface’ in the title fight. He reiterated that here, but whether he gets his title opportunity via such a scenario or in a completely different manner, Lobov feels that he will eventually reign as UFC featherweight champion.
“The way I see it, at the end of it all, is a lot of corpses behind me and gold wrapped around my waist – that’s the way I imagine it right now, but how it’s going to play out, we’ll see.”
You can listen to the entire interview below…a