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Lobov hopes for 'another chance' after debut disappointment in Vegas

The Straight Blast Gym fighter came up short against Ryan Hall at the TUF 22 Finale.

Artem Lobov (left) squaring off with Ryan Hall at the TUF 22 Finale weigh-ins.
Artem Lobov (left) squaring off with Ryan Hall at the TUF 22 Finale weigh-ins.

– Paul Dollery reports from Las Vegas

ARTEM LOBOV CAME up short in The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale last night in Las Vegas.

The Straight Blast Gym fighter suffered a unanimous-decision defeat to Ryan Hall (30-27, 30-26, 30-26) in the co-main event at The Cosmopolitan.

The win seals a UFC contract for Hall, but Lobov now faces an anxious wait before discovering if he’ll be given a second opportunity to prove himself on the world’s biggest stage.

The Russian-born 29-year-old, who’s been based in Dublin for over 12 years, reached last night’s final courtesy of three KO victories on the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter, during which Conor McGregor and Urijah Faber served as opposing coaches.

Lobov was given a wildcard back into the competition after suffering a defeat to Mehdi Baghdad at the first hurdle. He’s now hoping for a second bite at the cherry in the organisation itself.

“I hope the UFC will have me back and give me another chance, but I won’t blame them if they don’t,” said Lobov, whose professional record now stands at 11-11-1-1.

Maybe I’m not meant to do things first time. It took me two attempts to get into the house and maybe this is the way it’s meant to be. If the UFC gives me another chance I’ll give the fans something to cheer for.”

In a contest of contrasting styles, Hall used his elite jiu-jitsu to nullify the threat of Lobov’s striking, en route to a comprehensive win on the judges’ scorecards.

Lobov: “What can I say? Tonight was not my best fight or my best performance. It was a crap fight for the fans but Ryan did what he had to do.”

Hall also capitalised on a second chance last night. He was eliminated from the competition when he lost to Saul Rogers but was catapulted into the final when Rogers was forced out due to a visa issue.

“Artem is an incredibly tough opponent,” said Hall, who was in Ireland recently training with Lobov at SBG on the Naas Road before the pair were matched for last night’s fight.

“I had a lot of challenges in this camp. Artem has incredible shots. It’s an honour and I want to thank all of my coaches and the fighters from the house that took the time off to help me. Next, I want to rest and then I’ll be ready for whatever comes my way.”

Team Faber fighters went 3-0 against their rivals from Team McGregor on last night’s card, with Julian Erosa and Chris Gruetzemacher also securing decision wins against Marcin Wrzosek and Abner Lloveras respectively.

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