Artem Lobov happy with exciting fight despite TUF decision


Artem ‘The Russian Hammer’ Lobov lost out on a place in the TUF house on the premiere episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Team McGregor vs. Team Edgar, as fellow European Mehdi Baghdad won a decision after an exciting two round bout with the SBG fighter.

The European pair exchanged in the pocket throughout the ten-minute contest. In the opening five minutes ‘The Russian Hammer’ closed the distance and connected with powerful uppercuts, while the French fighter landed a significant head kick that sent Lobov into the fence.

Both fighters enjoyed spells of dominance in the second, but Baghdad scored an all-important takedown toward the end of the round. Although Dana White, Conor McGregor and Urijah Faber thought the bout would see a third round, Baghdad was given the nod over Lobov.

“At the time I didn’t know how I did (in the fight),” said Lobov speaking at screening of the premiere in Dublin. “My job is to get in there and try to hit the other guy as much as I can and try not to get hit in the process of doing that. I did hit him a lot but the second part didn’t work out that well, I got hit a good few times myself.

“It was a good fight though, I understand that UFC is an entertainment business first of all and when it comes to entertaining fights, few people do it better than me. I was happy with the fight itself, maybe not necessarily with my performance. I felt I could’ve done better, I didn’t get to show my full skillset but at least the fans aren’t going to be bored – whoever watches that fight is not going to fall asleep. I was happy in that sense.”

Lobov revealed that he knew he would be in the house once his teammate McGregor was confirmed as a coach for the season. Given that the first date UFC had scheduled for shooting the series would have clashed with his participation in McGregor’s UFC 189 world championship training camp, Lobov initially thought he would have to pass up the chance at being on the show.

“To be honest, as soon as we knew that Conor was going to be the coach, I knew that I was going to be in there. They had different plans at the start, they told me they would start filming on June 15 and that there was going to be different coaches.

“It wasn’t going to be Conor (coaching on the show), it was going to be someone else and for me to compete on TUF I would’ve had to miss the camp. So I wasn’t sure if I was going to do it at all, I didn’t want to miss the camp, I was needed for the preparation for the world title fight.

“Then I got the news that they’re not going to do that one, they were just going to do it on July 15 and he was going to be a coach. That was perfect, I’d get to do the camp and not only would it be Conor’s camp, it was also going to be my camp for TUF. It worked out perfectly for me really.”

‘The Russian Hammer’ also highlighted how he felt that the Europeans got a “raw deal” because they had to fight each other to get into the house.

He said: “I had already fought two of the European guys – Martin Svensson and Saul Rogers – and I knew both guys were good. Then I fought the French guy Mehdi, and I failed on that opportunity to get into the house.

“I knew that the European team was strong, I immediately knew we had the better team. I knew that the fight to get into the house would be a tough fight, because I would have to face a European. I think we got a bit of a raw deal there. It is what it is, they wanted the best European guys and they thought that was the best way to do it.”

Lobov has made a lot of cameos in various UFC Countdowns and Embedded episodes during McGregor’s ascent, but admitted it wasn’t until the matchmakers called him out by his fight name at the tryouts for the series that people might have taken note of him.

“I’m sure there were a lot of guys itching to get at me. I remember at the tryouts they were calling out our names, and when it came time to call my name they just said ‘Russian Hammer’. The matchmakers already knew who I was so as soon as they said that the whole room turned to me as if to say – ‘who the fuck is this guy?’ I’d say they went back home a Google’d me and after that I’m sure they wanted to fight me!” he laughed.

Finally, Lobov gave his thoughts on McGregor as a coach:

“He knows the game so well. He’s been in the fight business for a very, very long time. He’s a great motivational speaker, so in that sense he really knows how to get you going for a fight. He’s really great to have around in that respect.

“As far as coaching goes, John is our main coach, but us being around John all the time, we know what it’s like to coach and what it takes to be a good coach. I always knew that he was going to bring the team over – Owen, Tom, Sergey and Ark – and he was going to be there to motivate the team. Another big reason he’s there is to build up the season, that’s his main contribution really – he will make sure that everyone in the world watches the season. He brings a lot of exposure to the table.”


Aisling Daly and Ultimate Fighter contestant Artem Lobov attended Setanta Sports advance screening of the first episode in the latest series of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ featuring Conor McGregor. Episode 1 will be shown live at 3am Wednesday night on BT Sport 2 and 10pm every Thursday thereafter on Setanta Ireland & BT Sport. The Setanta Sports Pack will also have exclusively live coverage of UFC 194 Aldo v McGregor on December 12th. Visit

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