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Artem Lobov, MMA, and the Art of Ballroom Dancing

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Photos by Dolly Clew/Cage Warriors On first glance, there’s nothing spectacular about Artem Lobov. His record is a mediocre 10-10-1, most of which was accumulated on the European regional scene. He isn’t the kind of fighter topping prospect lists or getting mentioned on social media. He’s got a good frame, strong with solid definition, but he’s not exactly muscle bound. He’s just not the type of athlete you would normally expect to be a poster boy for mixed martial arts.

 

But what sets Lobov apart doesn’t appear on the outside. He’s a good interview, but his Russian accent will make it difficult to reach North American audiences. To see what sets Lobov apart from other fighters, you have to dig a little deeper and look a little harder. If you’ve heard of him before reading this story, it’s probably for one of two reasons, which are directly related. The first is that he was on a highlight reel somewhere. Despite his record, he’s an intensely interesting fighter to study.

 

His footwork, awkward stance, distance and hand movement set him apart from anyone else in the sport. His hands are generally at his waist and his feet move fluidly around the Octagon. As a striking coach with SBG Ireland, it’s not difficult to see the correlation between his striking work and that of teammates Conor McGregor and Gunnar Nelson. The second reason you may know Lobov is because he’s one of the few fighters without a martial arts background.

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