Artem Lobov got into a rather strange little Twitter skirmish on Friday, going toe to toe with esteemed MMA coach Mark Henry and Ali Abdelaziz – the manager of several UFC stars, including Khabib Nurmagomedov.
What made it so strange was the fact that Lobov himself never really came under direct attack, with Henry and Abdelaziz offering him nothing but respect throughout. The fighter was, however, forced to defend his coach John Kavanagh and his longtime training partner Conor McGregor, as well as to assert his Irishness.
After scoring an extremely impressive victory in his UFC debut earlier this month, the Mark Henry-trained Zabit Magomedsharipov issued a challenge to Lobov. His words drew an almost instant response from the SBG Ireland fighter, who by then had already been booked for an October clash with Andre Fili.
“Stay in shape kid,” Lobov advised Magomedsharipov. “If Fili doesn’t show up you can get destroyed instead! Otherwise see you in November.”
The fight would be a very dangerous one for Lobov and a win over a promotional newcomer – regardless of how talented – would do little to improve his standing in the featherweight division. Lobov, however, is known for his willingness to take on all comers and it’s this trait that has endeared him to so many fans. It has also gained him the respect of Henry, who lauded Lobov on Twitter when he learned of the 31-year-old’s eagerness to face Magomedsharipov. The New Jersey-based coach did, however, take a shot at Kavanagh in the process, referencing the fact that the SBG Ireland founder was not in Lobov’s corner for his most recent fight – a five-round decision loss to Cub Swanson in Nashville, Tennessee.