Artem Lobov, a long-time friend, sparring partner and member of Conor McGregor’s entourage, has issued a challenge against Zubaira Tukhugov, fellow UFC fighter, and Khabib Nurmagomedov’s teammate, during his appearance in a video from TheMacLife channel. Lobov challenged Zubaira in a fight at UFC Dublin and said that if the fight gets made, he’ll be donating his purse to charity.
In the video, Lobov expressed his discontent with having to remain at home in isolation due to the ongoing Coronavirus lockdowns and hopes to be back in regular training soon. Due to the current lockdowns, many – or rather, most – of the UFC fighters are unable to train properly, which creates a lot of issues.
Lobov’s challenge towards Zubaira didn’t come out of nowhere. We all know the long-lasting beef between McGregor’s and Nurmagomedov teams that resulted from McGregor’s infamous attack on Nurmagomedov’s team during a UFC 223 media event. The fight occurred after Nurmagomedov confronted Lobov along with several of his teammates because of their previous small beef. A video of their heated altercation surfaced, where Khabib was seen threatening Lobov and almost slapped him.
In an answer, McGregor, with his entourage and teammates, attacked the bus that was taking Nurmagomedov and his team, along with other fighters, to the event. With buss’ doors being locked, McGregor broke the window by swinging a metal trolley at it, which resulted in two fighters suffering heavy cuts.
The attack stirred a huge drama and was one of the primary facilitators of the hype that surrounded the fight between McGregor and Nurmagomedov.
Despite the fact that McGregor managed to pretty much get away with his behavior, there was a completely new type of reputation assigned to him. Not only was he known as the renegade of MMA anymore, but also a renegade in general. One of the weirdest things that this birthed was new betting options for fans. Yes, even though betting was already one of them, if not THE biggest income sources of these fights, online cash casinos decided to capitalize on McGregor’s unpredictability and create new betting options. Things like “will McGregor set fire to an opponent’s car?”, “How big of a fine will the police charge him now?”
But, besides these weird options, the casinos started to promote the fight even quicker. Nearly all casino marketing for a week had either McGregor’s or Nurmagomedov’s face on it. And needless to say, it worked like a charm.
With the gravity of the fight, a lot of “casual” watchers pitched in, and bet a lot of money on McGregor, seeing as he’s the most popular and hyped-up fighter in the UFC. However, very few people were to actually make the correct bets, as Nurmagomedov handily beat McGregor in striking, and finished him off via submission in the fourth round.
With this fight, Lobov hopes to settle the beef once and for all, and stated that he’ll do everything he can from his side to encourage the fight to happen. Lobov has historically been a center of many controversial beefs, which were very entertaining in their own way. Last year, he had a beef with a former boxer and commentator, Paulie Malignaggi. The two got very heated with each other, with very aggressive back-and-forth battles on Twitter and other social media. It got so out of hand, that they challenged each other in a bare-knuckle boxing match, which is a new fighting sport that is quickly gaining in popularity.
As a surprise to many, Lobov won the fight convincingly against Malignaggi, who was thought to be a heavy favorite by fight fans, him being a 2-time boxing champion and having had significant technical superiority over Lobov.