On Saturday, April 22, 2017, UFC veteran Cub Swanson will face off with Connor McGregor’s longtime training partner Artem Lobov as the main event at UFC Fight Night 108. Although he is coming off back-to-back wins, Lobov certainly has his work cut out for him against seasoned vet Cub Swanson, who is the No. 6 fighter in the USA TODAY Sports MMA featherweight rankings. Swanson, who has won 9 of his last 11 fights was also recently awarded “Fight of the Night” at the 2017 World MMA Awards for his performance against Dooho Choi at UFC 206.
The featherweight showdown is a matchup “The Russian Hammer” couldn’t be happier about. In a recent interview with Newstalk, Lobov said the announcement was an answer to his prayers. The former Ultimate Fighter competitor called Swanson out after his defeat of Teruto Ishihara at UFC Fight Night: Belfast. The two engaged in a heated two weeklong social media exchange. Now that the fight has been announced Swanson says it’s time to “teach Lobov some manners.”
“I’m delighted with the matchup,” Lobov told Newstalk. Considering how high up the rankings he is, he’s currently number four, and his style, I feel like he’s perfect for me. He is the type of fight of I’ve been searching for me whole life. I’ve never been able to get a chance of going in there with someone like him. Every other opponent I’ve faced has always tried to take me down. I’ve been calling for a slugfest like this for many years. This is my kind of fight.”
Lobov, who kicked off his UFC career with two back-to-back defeats comes off of his recent two consecutive victories brimming with confidence and eager to prove himself.
“I think it suits me even more that he’s coming off a win. If I won a fight against an opponent who was coming off a loss, people could say that Cub is over the hill and things like that. Because he’s coming off that big win, everyone knows he’s still in his prime. Without a doubt, if I win this fight, I will prove that I belong in the top tier of UFC.”
Swanson, who is coming off of a three-fight winning streak, is a major leap up in competition for Lobov. The mere fact that Lobov has managed to land himself as the main event of a UFC card is an impressive achievement. “This kind of fight will truly bring out the best of both fighters and a war should be expected,” says Evolution MMA fighter Danny Garavito.
“It’s unbelievable, to be honest,” says Lobov. It just goes to show you that you should always keep your head down and keep grinding. Never give up. This time last year there was talk of me being cut from the UFC. Now, here I am, facing the No. 4 guy in the world.”
We’ll find out if Lobov can back up the talk this Saturday.