In late January, featherweight fighter and Conor McGregor’s teammate Artem Lobov was released from the UFC roster. A few weeks later, the 32-year-old SBG Dublin fighter decided to sign with Bare Knuckle FC.
In a recent interview with BJPenn Radio, “The Russian Hammer” clarified that it was him who demanded his release from the UFC, as he was looking at other more lucrative offers that were on the table.
“I was not released by the UFC. I asked for my release and this is the reason I asked for the release, because the offers were there on the table,” he explained. “So when I was looking at the six digit offers on my table — I’m in the UFC and it’s hard to get fights there, I wasn’t as active and the pay was not as good as this offer that I already have offered to me — it was a no brainer for me. I left and I was delighted to sign with Bare Knuckle.
“I was gonna sign with them back in August of 2018, but I at that time I really wanted the Zubaira [Tukhugov] fight in the UFC. That was the only reason I remained in the UFC at that time.
“Now that I found out Zubaira cannot fight for another year, there was no reason for me to remain in the UFC until there,” he added. “I wanted to go elsewhere, make a lot of money, and then we see what happens in a year’s time.”
At the time of his release, Lobov said he was looking at other MMA promotions like Bellator and ONE Championship, but his decision to go with BKFC was mainly due to financial reasons.
“They were the best offer financially,” Lobov said. “Bellator did make me an offer as well which was a very good offer as well. And if you look at MMA world, it’s probably one of the best offers out there. But I felt, especially having the Bare Knuckle offer on the table, I felt that the Bellator offer was not quite just there for me to sign.
“Plus don’t forget that my Bare Knuckle offer not only includes great perks, but I also have a Pay Per View points,” he continueded. “And I’m also allowed to compete MMA if I choose to do so, providing it doesn’t interfere with their shows. Which was a no brainer for me. I can still fight MMA. I can still do other things. And they pay the most money to me plus I get the Pay Per View points.
“So it was a great offer and I’m delighted to have signed with them. Thank you very much to David Feldman the CEO of Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation. I look forward to putting on a show for them and I look forward to our cooperation.”
Lobov, is scheduled to fight fellow ex-UFC fighter Jason Knight at Bare Knuckle FC 5 on April 6th in Mississippi.