Peter Carroll reports as UFC announce an upcoming main event card
UFC have announced that Artem ‘The Russian Hammer’ Lobov will face Cub Swanson in the main event of the UFC Nashville card on April 22nd during their UFC 208 broadcast in Brooklyn this morning.
Speaking exclusively to Newstalk on the announcement of the bout, Lobov claimed that claimed that all his prayers have been answered with the matchup that will pit two of the division's deadliest strikers against each other.
“I’m delighted with the matchup,” said Lobov. “Considering how high up the rankings he is, he’s currently number four, and his style, I feel like he’s perfect for me.
“He is the type of fight of I’ve been searching for me whole life. I’ve never been able to get a chance of going in there with someone like him. Every other opponent I’ve faced has always tried to take me down.
“I’ve been calling for a slugfest like this for many years. This is my kind of fight. All my prayers have been answered.”
The SBG featherweight believes he will bring something to the table that Swanson has never experienced with his in-your-face style.
Cub Swanson reacts after defeating Dennis Siver during the third round of their UFC 162 mixed martial arts featherweight bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday, July 6, 2013, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)
“Cub certainly has power, but it’s nothing that I haven’t seen before. I guarantee that I won’t take a step back, like always. That’s something he has never experienced before.
“He’s used to fighting in the open. He’s used to throwing all of these crazy kicks. He has never experienced someone that is able to shut down his game like I will.
“I’m going to put him on the back foot, give him no space to attack and you better believe that I’ll be ready throw big bombs at him from the first bell.”
Riding a two-fight win streak going into the contest, Lobov maintained that Swanson’s last matchup, a grueling three round epic with Doo Ho Choi, will only help his chances on the night. He also highlighted how happy he is to be meeting Swanson when he is coming off a win.
“It suits me that he’s coming out of a war with ‘The Korean Superboy’. I think it suits me even more that he’s coming off a win.
“I want the prime streak. I want him to be at his best out there. The fact that he’s coming off the win makes it a much more interesting fight for me.
Conor McGregor with training partner Artem Lobov ahead of UFC196 ©INPHO/Raymond Spencer
“If he was coming off a loss, a lot of people might think that the UFC have thrown me a bone. If I won a fight against an opponent who was coming off a loss, people could say that Cub is over the hill and things like that. Because he’s coming off that big win, everyone knows he’s still in his prime.
“Without a doubt, if I win this fight, I will prove that I belong in the top tier of UFC.”
After his win in Belfast, a lot of people were wondering when Lobov would be matched again. Having waited for so long to be matched, ‘The Russian Hammer’ admitted that he was blown away by being handed his main event debut against one of the best-known featherweights under the UFC banner.
“It’s unbelievable, to be honest. It just goes to show you that you should always keep your head down and keep grinding. Never give up.
“This time last year there was talk of me being cut from the UFC. Now, here I am, facing the number four guy in the world.
“I’m looking forward to this one. I have a lot of skills to showcase and I have a lot of mouths to shut. I have many things to prove to myself and a lot of people out there.”
Finally, Lobov stated that with five rounds scheduled for the meeting, a finish will be quite likely between the two aggressive strikers:
“I think this has a finish written all over it. I had two opportunities to finish my last fight.
“The first came at the end of the second round, and then at the end of third I was in mount and Ishihara wasn’t really fighting back anymore. He was done. If I had another 15 seconds I would have got the finish.
“This time, I honestly can’t see the fight going the distance given the fact that this fight is five rounds. This will definitely be a finish.”