The GOAT, Artem Lobov, is currently a free agent and close to signing a deal with Polish MMA promotion KSW, according to a recent interview with MMA Fighting’s Peter Carroll.
Lobov’s stint with Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) has come to an end and ‘The Russian Hammer’ has been offered a lucrative contract with KSW. The deal hasn’t been finalized, however, and Lobov is still keeping his options open — hinting of a possible move to Bellator MMA.
Lobov, teammate of UFC star Conor McGregor, almost signed with Bellator in 2019 and said he even offered to fight British striking dynamo Michael Venom Page — better known as MVP — in November for $1 million.
“To be honest, [Bellator] made me an offer just after I left the UFC,” Lobov said. “It was a very good offer and I was very grateful for the offer. I was ready to sign for them, but at the time Bare Knuckle FC were throwing money at me and I just couldn’t turn that down. I tried to ask Bellator to up the cash just a little bit, just so it would make a little more sense for me to sign with them, but they didn’t. It was a no-brainer for me. I just couldn’t turn down the money Bare Knuckle FC were throwing at me, so I ended up signing with them.
“I’m still not ruling Bellator out of the equation completely. They come to Ireland twice a year and it’s always a big show. It’s big promotion, I could certainly see myself in the Bellator cage as well, but KSW seem to be very close to signing me at the moment.”
“When this happened I messaged John Kavanagh because he has a very close relationship with Bellator,” Lobov said when Page’s opponent Derek Anderson pulled out of Bellator London. “I messaged him straightaway and said, ‘Tell them it’s one million and I’ll step in for one million.’ The fight was probably worth more than that, but I like Bellator so I thought I’d give them a little discount.”
Lobov (featherweight) is still very much interested in a matchup with MVP (welterweight) and believes he matches up very well with the London Shootfighter.
“I would love to fight MVP. I know we’re in different weight classes, but I feel it’s a very winnable fight for me. I know his style and I have keys to beating him.
“To be honest, when he fought Paul Daley I thought Paul has the style to beat him, but for some f*cking reason, Paul decided he was a wrestler that night. I honestly don’t know what he was thinking or who gave him that idea, that was the biggest mistake. For me, he’s got the perfect style [to beat MVP]. That tight, K-1 style where you back the guy up and he has nowhere to go. He’s got a lot of power in his hands. I feel if he had’ve stood with him he would’ve won.”
Lobov went 2-1 under the BKFC banner, notching wins over Jason Knight and Paulie Malignaggi.