After Looking At Other Opportunities, Artem Lobov Is Solely Focused On Getting Back To Winning Ways At UFC 223
Artem Lobov found himself at a crossroads following his defeat at UFC Fight Night Gdansk last October, but after considering other opportunities outside of the UFC, “The Russian Hammer” signed a fight contract to face Alex Caceres at UFC 223 on April 7.
The SBG Ireland man lost his second fight in a row when he defeated by Andre Fili in Poland late last year and speaking with MMANytt.com earlier this week he admitted that to keep his fate in his own hands he looked at other opportunities outside of the UFC.
“The main difference between me and everybody else is that I don’t wait for no one,” Lobov said.
“I make my own decisions and I make my own luck. It was never the case I was waiting for someone, I wait for no one.
“I went out there and I looked at what opportunities there were and in turns out there were plenty of opportunities everywhere.
“The boxing world, there were opportunities for me there. K1 organizations I had offers from and I [also] had offers from big players in the MMA world.
“They were very good offers and moneywise I was probably earning more than I would do in the UFC if I was fighting elsewhere.”
Despite the temptation of the offers, Lobov knew he had unfinished business in the UFC. Leaving the organization with two defeats wouldn’t have been a satisfactory end to his stint in the promotion and he knew that his preference was always to remain under the UFC banner.
“Of course, the UFC is the premier organization and it’s the one every fighter wants to be in,” Lobov said.
“The most competitive fights are there and I’m no different.
“I love fighting for the UFC so I reached out to them just to see what the situation was and they made it very clear they wanted to hold of me, so I said ‘ok that’s good to know, thanks for that. When am I fighting in that case?’ And that was it.”
Lobov is more aware than anyone that his UFC career is likely on the line come April 7 and he’s more determined that ever to return to winning ways.
Caceres will be no walkover, but Lobov has a new fire burning within him to drive him on to bigger and better things in the UFC.
“I need [to make] a statement,” Lobov said.
“If you want success in this sport, which I presume everyone wants, you hardly just doing it for the crack, not at this level anyway.
“This is my profession and I realize you need to be knocking guys out and winning impressively in order to progress and reach new highs and this is what I want to do.
“I always fight with everything I have and I always give everything I have.
“No one has ever submitted me, no one has ever said ‘Artem Lobov didn’t show up’ or ‘Artem Lobov didn’t give everything he had in there.’
“I do and I do every single time. My plan won’t change and I’m going to go in there and be aggressive as always, put the pressure on and be in there until the last second.”
“That’s my gameplan and it always will be.”
Watch the full interview with Artem: