Home MMA Artem Lobov Was Having None Of It When Khabib’s Manager Questioned His Irishness Recently

Artem Lobov Was Having None Of It When Khabib’s Manager Questioned His Irishness Recently

Northern Ireland , Ireland - 19 November 2016; UFC Lightweight and Featherweight champion Conor McGregor celebrates with fellow SBG gym fighter Artem Lobov after his victory over Teruto Ishihara in their Featherweight bout at UFC Fight Night 99 in the SSE Arena, Belfast. (Photo By David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Artem Lobov got into a rather strange little Twitter skirmish on Friday, going toe to toe with esteemed MMA coach Mark Henry and Ali Abdelaziz – the manager of several UFC stars, including Khabib Nurmagomedov.

What made it so strange was the fact that Lobov himself never really came under direct attack, with Henry and Abdelaziz offering him nothing but respect throughout. The fighter was, however, forced to defend his coach John Kavanagh and his longtime training partner Conor McGregor, as well as to assert his Irishness.

After scoring an extremely impressive victory in his UFC debut earlier this month, the Mark Henry-trained Zabit Magomedsharipov issued a challenge to Lobov. His words drew an almost instant response from the SBG Ireland fighter, who by then had already been booked for an October clash with Andre Fili.

“Stay in shape kid,” Lobov advised Magomedsharipov. “If Fili doesn’t show up you can get destroyed instead! Otherwise see you in November.”

During a recent episode of Severe MMA podcast Talking Brawls, Lobov again suggested that he would be interested in pursuing the bout once his business with Fili is concluded(H/t Petesy Carroll of MMAFighting).

The fight would be a very dangerous one for Lobov and a win over a promotional newcomer – regardless of how talented – would do little to improve his standing in the featherweight division. Lobov, however, is known for his willingness to take on all comers and it’s this trait that has endeared him to so many fans. It has also gained him the respect of Henry, who lauded Lobov on Twitter when he learned of the 31-year-old’s eagerness to face Magomedsharipov. The New Jersey-based coach did, however, take a shot at Kavanagh in the process, referencing the fact that the SBG Ireland founder was not in Lobov’s corner for his most recent fight – a five-round decision loss to Cub Swanson in Nashville, Tennessee.

Lobov’s response was cutting.

“Stick to ‘coaching’ your mail order fighters, and get ready for an ass whooping that me and my day 1 coach are preparing for you,” wrote Artem.

Soon, the trash-talking Abdelaziz, who also manages Henry fighter Frankie Edgar, came bounding into the fray. Like Henry, he offered words of respect for Lobov but chose to take a simultaneous swipe at a member of his team – in this instance, McGregor – and also to claim that Lobov is Russian, not Irish.

“All bullshit to the side, one guy from Ireland who doesn’t turn down fights is artem but he’s not Irish,” wrote the CEO of Dominance MMA Management.

While he was born and raised in Russia, Lobov is a longtime resident of Ireland who holds dual citizenship and has spoken on many occasions about his pride in representing his adopted homeland, as well as in carrying the country’s flag into battle.

“I say this with pride: Ireland is my home now and it has been for a long time,” Lobov told Paul Dollery of the42.ie  ahead of his UFC debut in 2015. “I’ve said it before and I mean it — I’m not saying it because I think it sounds cool — I was born in Russia as a person but Ireland was where I was born as a fighter,” he subsequently added.

Lobov expressed a similar sentiment in his response to Abdelaziz on Friday.

“Born in Russia, forged in Ireland! I raise my flags at exactly the same time for a reason! They are like my mother and father,” he wrote.

The back and forth continued thereafter, with Henry and Abdelaziz taking further shots at McGregor, only for ‘The Russian Hammer’ to retaliate with gusto.

Perhaps the highlight of the exchange that ensued came when Abdelaziz suggested McGregor needs to fight his client, Nurmagomedov.

“I want to see Khabib fight full stop,” responded Artem. “[You] can’t get the champ by not showing up to [your] fights. His last fight is black and white it was that long [ago].”

Lobov faces Fili at UFC Fight Night 118 in Gdansk, Poland on October 21st. Should he come through that, a match-up with Magomedsharipov looks like a real possibility and we’d love to see it.

About The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team. If you would like to join the team, drop us an email at write@punditarena.com.