Moral victory? Artem Lobov doesn’t know the meaning of it.
Sure, Lobov proved himself as a tough-as-nails, UFC-caliber fighter in a unanimous decision loss to Cub Swanson last month at UFC Fight Night 108 in Nashville. Yes, Lobov likely took a round off Swanson and landed more than 100 punches against the highly ranked featherweight.
But at the end of the fight, it was Swanson — not Lobov — with his hand raised. And that is truly all that matters to Lobov, he told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour.
“I lost, so I don’t really see it probably that way,” Lobov said when asked about the positives in defeat. “To me, I was going into the fight to try and win, obviously. That’s why I called for the fight. And I generally thought that I could win. Obviously I didn’t, so I’m still trying to get over that.”
Lobov (13-13-1, 1 NC) had to shake the perception that he was only in the UFC due to his friendship with Conor McGregor before the bout. Many questioned why Swanson was fighting someone with a poor record. Others couldn’t understand why Lobov was in a main-event spot ahead of seemingly more deserving talent.
All those things, most of them valid arguments, could have worn at “The Russian Hammer.” But he didn’t seem to care at all about what others said and then went on to put forth his best performance in the Octagon.
It still wasn’t a victory, though, so it wasn’t enough for him. The idea of a moral victory is lost on Lobov.
“No,” Lobov said. “Never. I would never look at any fight like that. To me, if I’m going in, I’m going in to win. If you don’t win, well that’s it. Obviously, I’m not gonna dwell on it. I’m not gonna cry about it. I’m a learner and I’m a go-getter. I have to look over the mistakes, I have the fix them and I’m gonna keep moving forward. And hopefully one day I’ll meet Cub again.”
Lobov, 30, will now head back to the drawing board, which in his case is SBG Ireland and coach John Kavanagh. When Lobov would like to fight is very much up in the air. If McGregor ends up having a boxing match booked against Floyd Mayweather Jr., as discussed, Lobov said he’ll take time away from his own career to concentrate fully on helping McGregor, a close friend.
If the McGregor-Mayweather talks are stalled, Lobov knows who he’d like next: Doo Ho Choi. “The Korean Superboy” fell to Swanson by unanimous decision at UFC 206 in what was a candidate for 2016’s Fight of the Year. All-action fights are what Lobov want and he’d be down to dance with Choi.
“I mean, why not?” Lobov said. “He was one of the guys that I called out originally. It was either him or Cub. Now we both lost to Cub, the two of us both went the distance, the two of us both got the Fight of the Night, so why not? It makes sense, no?”
While that would likely be an entertaining fight for the fans, it’s unclear what the UFC will do with Lobov, who admits he’s not in a position to make demands. The Russia native was on a two-fight winning streak heading into the Swanson fight, but has now lost three of five overall in the UFC. The one thing Lobov wants fans to do is not pay so much attention to those numbers and judge for themselves when they watch him fight.
“Your record is where you’ve been, but it’s not necessarily where you are or where you’re going,” Lobov said. “That just shows that I’ve had a tough road. I’ve taken fights when others wouldn’t.”
And while Lobov doesn’t like the idea that he lost to Swanson and he’s not celebrating it, he does admit that it should give the pundits pause when they talk about how he shouldn’t be in the UFC.
“I guess that shows where my skill level is at,” Lobov said. “And I guess if you’re a true MMA fan, you should assess somebody by their skill, rather than where they’ve been or how they got that skill.”
Source:: mma fighting