Artem Lobov: “It doesn’t matter where Mayweather is at. We’re training. We’re getting ready to box”

It’s been a busy few months for Artem Lobov following his fight of the night bout with top UFC featherweight contender Cub Swanson. The Russian Irishman took plenty of plaudits after putting on a showing against Swanson which many didn’t expect to see. Since then he has made his feelings known about who he would like to face next as well as a host of other issues. SevereMMA caught up with Artem in SBG this week to ask him about a few of those thoughts and what the future might hold for him in the UFC.

“It’s hard to get any positives from a loss,” Lobov said about his fight with Cub Swanson.

“I lost, fair play to Cub. I thought I was better than him and he proved that I wasn’t.”

“I’m not there yet, I still have a lot of work to do. I’m already on another level from that fight. I’m constantly working, constantly improving. I look forward to my next challenge and I look forward to showing that inside the Octagon.”

Could that next fight be Jose Aldo? On a recent call-out of the former featherweight champion, Lobov was quick to make the situation a bit clearer.

“I meant no disrespect to Jose,” Lobov said.

“I understand the position I am in and I understand the position he is in. But just based on the fact that he was so obsessed with getting the rematch with Conor, and given the fact that he lost his last fight, and Conor is planning to box, it looks very unlikely that he’s going to get that rematch.”

“So I thought that it would be somewhat of a nice fight for him to fight the guy that helped Conor get that 13 second knockout. And that would be me.”

“He is probably two fights away from getting that title shot again so why not make the first one somewhat of a redemption fight? And if he beats me he can get the title eliminator then. That’s all I thought.”

Speaking of UFC champions, Lobov had a few choice words for UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson who last week openly criticised the UFC following a proposed match-up with former bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw.

“He (Demetrious Johnson) must remember where he was before the UFC,” Lobov said.

“His weight class didn’t even exist. They created the weight class for him. They gave him an opportunity to become a world champion and earn a lot of money. And this is what he does to them.”

“He is always the one complaining that he wants to get pay-per-view, he wants to get more money. But whose fault is it that no-one watches his fights? It’s not the UFC’s fault; they try to push him as much as they can. They want to make money as well, it’s a business.”

“This (versus TJ Dillashaw) is a fight they offer him that people will actually be interested in. They didn’t ask him to go up in weight class, they told him the guy is going to come down to his weight class. And as a champion you should be prepared to face anyone that’s going to make the weight. Like I said, that would be a fight people would be interested in, so what is he complaining about?”

From there talk of a union was the obvious next step but Lobov is not too supportive of that idea.

“It’s not something I would ever support,” Lobov replied to a question about union talks at the recent UFC retreat.

“I like the way the UFC works. In the UFC, if you are an earner and a go getter the pay checks are like the Irish weather: always raining.”

Lobov was also positive about his teammates Conor McGregor’s rumoured upcoming boxing bout with Floyd Mayweather and spoke of how “Mystic Mac” also predicted the Megafight before anyone else.

“I’m hoping that it is close,” he said.

“But it doesn’t matter where Mayweather is at. We’re training. We’re getting ready to box, regardless.”

“I was talking to Conor about this fight before he even became a featherweight champion. This was before the Mendes fight even.”

“It just came up in a conversation and I thought that this would be a great fight. The greatest mixed martial artist of all time versus the greatest boxer.”

“What’s not to like?”

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You can check out this week’s Severe MMA Podcast below:

Sean and Graeme talk UFC Auckland, UFC Singapore, Demetrious Johnson, Fan Questions and more

Lead MMA writer and analyst for SevereMMA. Co-host of the SevereMMA podcast, out every Tuesday. Economics and Mathematics graduate from UCC. Previously of hov-mma and fightbooth. As heard on 2FM, Red FM, Today FM and more.

Follow me on twitter for updates @SeanSheehanBA and on Facebook Facebook.com/seansheehanmma