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Wednesday 8 February 2023 Dublin: 8°C
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'You can put a tiger in there with me because Conor gives me that confidence'
Artem Lobov delivered his best performance to date to overcome Teruto Ishihara last night in Belfast.

Conor McGregor celebrates with Artem Lobov following his victory Presseye / Matt Mackey/INPHO Presseye / Matt Mackey/INPHO / Matt Mackey/INPHO

ARTEM LOBOV PAID tribute to Conor McGregor last night after picking up his second win under the banner of the UFC.

Lobov put on a convincing display as he recorded a unanimous-decision victory (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) against Teruto Ishihara on the main card at UFC Fight Night 99 at Belfast’s SSE Arena.

He was joined in the octagon afterwards by jubilant team-mate Conor McGregor. Lobov has been the main sparring partner of the reigning UFC featherweight and lightweight champion at Straight Blast Gym in Dublin in recent years.

“I’m confident going in there against anyone,” Lobov said. “You can put a tiger in there with me because Conor [McGregor] gives me that confidence from facing him for many, many years and I’m still here and I’m still pretty. Like I’ve said since day one, anyone, any time, any place. I’ve been that way since day one and I’ll stay that way until the end.”

Having started his time in the UFC with a pair of losses, Lobov will now enter 2017 on the back of two consecutive victories. He also overcame Chris Avila at UFC 202 in Las Vegas back in August.

Teruto Ishihara in action with Artem Lobov Presseye / Matt Mackey/INPHO Presseye / Matt Mackey/INPHO / Matt Mackey/INPHO

Born in Russia but living in Ireland for the past 13 years, Lobov holds dual citizenship and his win brought the loudest cheer of the night from the 7,222 fans in Belfast. The 30-year-old was also surprised that Ishihara lasted the distance.

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Lobov said: “The Irish fans, and the Russians, support me through thick and thin. Many of them supported me despite the losses and I owed them this one. I owed them a good fight. I wanted to put a cherry on the cake and get a knockout, but next time.

“I swear to God, next time I’m going to get that KO. I was surprised I didn’t knock him out. I caught him a few times and I felt his legs wobble, but he stayed in there. The Japanese are tough, they are samurais.”

Lobov’s win marked a night of mixed fortunes for SBG at the SSE Arena. Welterweight debutant Charlie Ward suffered a first-round KO defeat to Abdul Razak Alhassan. In the main event Gegard Mousasi avenged last year’s loss to Uriah Hall with a first-round TKO.

Lobov wins at UFC Belfast and McGregor leads the celebrations

Debut disappointment for Ward as Alhassan scores KO in under a minute

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