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Artem Lobov announces retirement

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The MMA and bare knuckle vet is calling it a career.

UFC Fight Night: Michael Johnson v Artem Lobov
Artem Lobov before his fight with Michael Johnson in 2018.
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Last week Artem Lobov took a tough loss inside a ring of sandbags versus Olympic silver medallist Denys Berinchyk. The fight was put on by bare knuckle outfit Mahatch FC and featured Lobov taking a great deal of punishment before the fight was waved off at the end of the fourth round.

In the wake of that defeat ‘The Russian Hammer’ has decided it’s time for him to walk away from competing in combat sports.

“It’s true, time to close the career,” said Lobov in a statement to MMA Fighting. “There’s plenty other options and suggestions to prolong my path, but not fighting.

“In order to succeed, you have to say goodbye and concentrate on other things. Of course, I’ll be with Mahatch and the Parimatch team. All my sponsors are already family for me. I feel this support indeed. So I won’t say goodbye from all fighting activities, but I need to finish my career as a fighter.”

Lobov joined the UFC through the well-tread Ultimate Fighter pipeline. In 2015 he was a cast member on The Ultimate Fighter: Team McGregor vs. Team Faber in 2015. Despite losing his fight to get into the house, his passage onto the show was granted in the form of a ‘coach’s save’ enacted by his longtime friend and training partner Conor McGregor.

In the finale of that show he was defeated by Ryan Hall. After that Lobov dropped a unanimous decision to Alex White. He rebounded with his first UFC win at UFC 202 in 2016, beating Chris Avila by unanimous decision. He then beat Teruto Ishihara by unanimous decision.

Lobov then lost his next three fights and was released by the promotion in 2018. The first of those was a thrilling decision loss to Cub Swanson. That was followed by decision losses to Andre Fili and Michael Johnson.

After being cut from the UFC he signed with Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships and fought three times in 2019. In BKFC he beat ex UFC fighter Jason Knight and former WBA welterweight champion Pauli Malignaggi. He was also defeated by Knight in a rematch.

If Lobov’s retirement sticks he ends with a 13-15-1 (1 NC) record in MMA and a 2-2 record in bare knuckle boxing.