Because of his involvement in the UFC 229 post-fight brawl, featherweight fighter Zubaira Tukhugov is facing hefty repercussions. One of them is the possibility of being released from the UFC roster.
Teammate and close friend Khabib Nurmagomedov previously threatened to leave the company, should the UFC decide to cut Tukhugov. Apparently, Artem Lobov shares the same sentiment.
“If they cut him, I want to be gone as well,” Lobov said Monday on the Ariel Helwani MMA Show (via ESPN.com). “I will fight him in ACB, Bellator or any league he wants to do it. But I will get him.”
“It has to be done inside the Octagon. I want to look this man in the eyes, one-on-one. Once you’re inside that Octagon, it’s one-on-one. Your skill versus his skill. Your heart versus his heart. I want to test his heart in the Octagon. I want to see what he’s got.”
For Lobov, things are now more personal between him and Tukhugov, and says he will stop at nothing until they finally get to fight each other.
“I’m only doing this (against Johnson) because I was already ready to go and I haven’t fought in a year. For many reasons, I have to take this fight,” Lobov said. “But make no mistake, I want Zubaira.
“We need this win, but I don’t feel the pressure. To me, this is one step closer to getting Zubaira back. There is nothing else on my mind. That’s the only thing I can even think of. I’m not going to rest, I’m not going to sleep, until I get him back.”
Lobov and Tukhugov were originally slated to face each other this weekend at UFC Moncton. The latter, however, was pulled from the fight due to his involvement in the brawl, and was subsequently replaced by Michael Johnson.