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Artem Lobov
Artem Lobov

'Aldo managed 13 seconds with Conor, I've lasted years' - Lobov hoping for one more UFC shot

The SBG fighter is eager to make it third-time-lucky in the UFC.
Mar 3rd 2016, 3:12 PM 11,237 10

ARTEM LOBOV IS uncertain as to what the future holds but the Irish fighter insists he won’t throw in the towel if he’s shown the exit door by the UFC.

Having made it to the final of The Ultimate Fighter in December, the knockout power Lobov displayed en route to the showpiece event at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas was nullified by the elite grappling of Ryan Hall.

The Straight Blast Gym product was given a second bite at the cherry when he faced Alex White at the MGM Grand last month but again he was deemed second-best by the judges.

With the UFC becoming increasingly ruthless when it comes to trimming their roster, Lobov may not be given another opportunity to secure his first taste of victory on the biggest stage in mixed martial arts.

However, the Russian-born featherweight — who’s been based in Dublin for the past 13 years — is adamant that he has learned from where he went wrong. And if the UFC cut him loose, he’s determined to work his way back into their plans.

“There were a lot of mistakes I made in that last fight that I’ve never even made in the past. I find it hard to explain myself,” Lobov told The42 from Las Vegas, where he’s helping SBG team-mate Conor McGregor to prepare for Saturday night’s headline bout against Nate Diaz at UFC 196.

“I usually deal with range really well. I kept falling short with that slip-right-hand shot but for some reason I was always certain that I was going to land the next one. The fight got away from me before I knew it. I’m usually never short with my punches. This is one thing I’ve been able to do throughout my career — always land and read the distance well.

“I’ll have to see where I go from here. If I get cut now, okay, so be it. I’ll just go back, fight elsewhere, and hopefully put myself forward again to fight my way back into the UFC. That’s my plan for now but I hope I can get another opportunity whatever happens.”

Conor McGregor with training partner Artem Lobov Artem Lobov grappling with Conor McGregor at last night's UFC 196 open workouts at the MGM Grand. Source: Raymond Spencer/INPHO

The results haven’t gone his way so far but Lobov believes he belongs in the UFC, pointing to the fact that he has been Conor McGregor’s main sparring partner since long before ‘The Notorious’ became the UFC featherweight champion.

“You always want to showcase what you can do. I know what I can do. I’m not just here by accident. It’s not an accident that I’m the sparring partner of Conor McGregor either,” said Lobov.

“We have loads of guys at the gym but I’m there because not many people can handle that kind of pressure. Not many people can give Conor a good spar. I’m one of the few that can do it.

“Jose Aldo only managed to last 13 seconds with Conor. I’ve lasted years with the guy. I just wanted to be able to show that on the big stage; to show the world what I can do. I wasn’t able to do that so far so that obviously pains me the most.

“Whether I get a chance to do that or not, I don’t know, but one thing I do know is that I can’t retire. Not yet. I love fighting too much. The love for the sport keeps me in it. We’ll see what happens.”

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