Artem Lobov came up short in his first UFC main event, and the featherweight’s outlined how he can return to headliner status in the near future.
Lobov faced Cub Swanson in the main event of UFC Fight Night 108, which took place in April. Lobov went on to lose the contest via decision.
Well, fast forward to today, and Lobov is set to battle Andre Fili at UFC Fight Night 118. Earlier this week, the 31 year-old outlined how he thinks he can get back to a main event fight, in the short term (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“I personally feel that I’m two knockouts away from becoming a legitimate main event guy. Maybe not for pay-per-view, but for a smaller card.
“If I can get knockouts or any kind of finish in the next two fights I will be a legitimate main event guy, that’s how I see it…”
“At the end of the day, you have to get finishes. If you want to be successful in this industry that’s what you need. This is what I’m looking for. I’ve made some adjustments and hopefully I’ll be able to get it against Fili,” Lobov added.
Is Lobov on point here? Possibly. After all, he has already competed in a main event. The decision to place Lobov in a headliner received mixed reviews, however, due to the fact that the Russian was 2-2 in UFC action heading into the fight. Some argued that Lobov received the opportunity, due to the fact he’s a friend and training partner of Conor McGregor.
But, if Lobov does take out Fili today in highlight reel fashion, and then bombs out say a top 15 ranked 145’er, then a main event could very well be in reach. At the end of the day, Lobov is a more well known fighter, due to his relationship with McGregor. Your status and following matters when it comes to receiving top of the card fights. That’s just a reality of the business.
First things first, however, as Lobov will need to get by Fili, who is a well rounded and durable fighter.
UFC FN 118 will take place in Gdansk, Poland.