Category Archives: Artem Lobov

UFC-Rotterdam's Zabit Magomedsharipov calls out Artem Lobov, who responds immediately

Artem Lobov is always down for a fight, and even though he’s currently booked for an upcoming matchup, he’s all in for a showdown with touted prospect Zabit Magomedsharipov.

Following an impressive second-round submission win against Mike Santiago at UFC Fight Night 115, Magomedsharipov (13-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) used the platform of his post-fight interview to request a future bout with Lobov (13-13-1 MMA, 2-3 UFC).

Although Lobov is scheduled to fight Andre Fili at UFC Fight Night 118 on Oct. 21, he quickly replied in characteristic fashion (via Twitter):

Magomedsharipov showed off the full extent of his ability at UFC Fight Night 115. He dazzled on the feet before finishing Santiago on the ground, showing why coach Mark Henry and teammates such as Frankie Edgar and Eddie Alvarez have given him so much praise.

He explained exactly why he wants Lobov next in his post-fight quotes distributed by the UFC.

“I want to fight Artem Lobov next,” Magomedsharipov said. “He’s been talking a lot of (expletive) in the media and he pretends to be some great fighter, but he is not. So I want to prove I can beat him. I would beat him hard.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 115, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Artem Lobov-Andre Fili, Smoliakov-Wieczorek set for UFC Fight Night 118 in Poland

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The UFC’s October return to Poland continues to build with another couple fights ticketed for the lineup.

Artem Lobov (13-13-1 MMA, 2-3 UFC) will take on Andre Fili (16-5 MMA, 4-4 UFC) in a featherweight bout, and Dmitrii Smoliakov (8-2 MMA, 0-2 UFC) will fight Adam Wieczorek (8-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at heavyweight. UFC officials recently announced the bookings.

UFC Fight Night 118 takes place Oct. 21 at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland. The event will stream live on UFC Fight Pass.

Fili has alternated wins and losses for his entire eight-fight UFC tenure. He debuted with a TKO win over Jeremy Larsen nearly four years ago, giving him a 13-1 start as a pro. But since then, he has losses to current featherweight champ Max Holloway, Godofredo Pepey, Yair Rodriguez, and most recently a decision setback to Calvin Kattar at UFC 214 less than three weeks ago.

The loss to Kattar was the first decision loss of Fili’s career. Of his four wins in the promotion, two are by stoppage – a bonus-winning head-kick knockout of Gabriel Benitez in Mexico in November 2015, and his TKO of Larsen. He has decision victories over Felipe Arantes and Hacran Dias, the latter of which came nearly a year ago.

Lobov will try to get back in the win column after back-to-back decision wins over Chris Avila and Teruto Ishihara. A longtime training partner of Conor McGregor, Lobov lost Season 22 of “The Ultimate Fighter” when Ryan Hall outpointed him at the finale. After that, he dropped to featherweight from lightweight, but lost a decision to Alex White before his consecutive wins.

In April, he got the highest-profile opportunity of his career when he headlined UFC Fight Night 108 against longtime title contender Cub Swanson in Nashville. And though he gave the veteran a battle and earned “Fight of the Night” honors for the performance, he dropped a unanimous decision and saw his career record fall back to .500.

Smoliakov started his pro career a perfect 8-0 with four knockouts and four submissions. But it’s been a different story since he came to the UFC. In July 2016, he made his promotional debut at UFC on FOX 20 in Chicago, but was submitted by Luis Henrique in the second round. In January at UFC Fight Night 103, Cyril Asker knocked him out in the first round.

Wieczorek will make his UFC debut in front of his home Polish fans. The lone l oss of his pro career came to current UFC heavyweight Marcin Tybura back in 2011. But since then, he has seven straight wins, all by stoppage, to get his shot in the big show. When he steps in the cage against Smoliakov, though, it will have been more than a year since his most recent fight.

The latest UFC Fight Night 118 card now includes:

  • Ramazan Emeev vs. Trevor Smith
  • Jan Blachowicz vs. Devin Clark
  • Oskar Piechota vs. Jonathan Wilson
  • Andre Fili vs. Artem Lobov
  • Dmitrii Smoliakov vs. Adam Wieczorek

For more on UFC Fight Night 118, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Artem Lobov discusses Conor McGregor's 'absolutely perfect' training camp for Mayweather

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Filed under: News, UFC

Artem Lobov struggles to see any flaws in Conor McGregor’s preparation for his boxing match with Floyd Mayweather later this month.

Lobov (13-13-1 MMA, 2-3 UFC), who is a close friend and training partner of “The Notorious,” has been by McGregor’s (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) side for the majority of his career. They’ve prepared for big fights together, and in that time, Lobov has seen all the highs and lows. He pegged preparation for Mayweather (49-0 boxing) as the best he’s been involved with.

“Everything is absolutely perfect from his meal plans, diet, his training, his sparring – everything, literally,” Lobov told MMAjunkie. “No stone has been left unturned, and everything has gone very smooth. So, Aug. 26, there’s going to be a very scary animal in that ring with Floyd.”

Lobov said one of the keys to a successful training camp has been confidence in approach. Although McGregor is considered by most to be a massive underdog against Mayweather, the self-belief stemming from McGregor and everyone around him makes the situation particularly interesting.

McGregor has failed to reveal a single instance of doubt about his ability to win, and Lobov said that mindset is one of the Irishman’s most dangerous weapons.

“He always was a confident man, but when you capture two UFC world titles, something that hasn’t been accomplished before, that takes your confidence to the next level,” Lobov said. “Now you have real proof of what you believe in is in fact the truth. So of course his confidence is at an all-time high. His preparation, as well.”

Whether McGregor’s confidence will carry him to a victory over a more experienced, accomplished foe in Mayweather will only be determined on fight night. However, the official prediction coming from McGregor is that he will win by knockout in four rounds or less. It’s a bold prediction against Mayweather, who has never been beaten, much less stopped, but given McGregor’s fight outcome history, Lobov doesn’t view the assessment as unrealistic.

“Look at Conor’s fights: There’s not many decisions there,” Lobov said. “He’s been to a decision twice (in the UFC). Once with no leg, no ACL (against Max Holloway), and then another time (in the Nate Diaz rematch). Of course we’re going to knock out, we’re expecting a knockout. In a boxing fight, he’s going to have nowhere to hide, Mayweather. Conor will find him and catch him.”

To hear more from Lobov, check out the video above.

For more on “The Money Fight: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor,” check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

As an Irishman with a new UFC deal, Joseph Duffy is an endangered species

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As is befitting of the man, news that Irish lightweight Joseph Duffy had signed a new seven-fight UFC deal following a brief spell as a free agent was accompanied by minimal fanfare.

There was no bombast, nor were multiple members of the 155-pound division subjected to impromptu challenges on Twitter, in some transparent attempt to hog a little more of the spotlight while his name was in circulation.

That’s just not Duffy’s way, and it never will be. But, if it were, the UFC may not have allowed the Donegal native to fight out his old contract with a routine win over Reza Madadi at UFC Fight Night 107 in March, and then entertain offers from other promotions before finally tabling the sort of deal he felt deserving of.

Timing also played a significant role in the relatively subdued response to the UFC retaining the services of one of Europe’s most potent combatants.

In the hours after Pete Carroll of MMAFighting.com broke the story of Duffy (19-2 MMA, 4-1 UFC) committing his longterm future to the world’s biggest promotion, another Irishman, Conor McGregor, took to the stage of Barclays Center in Brooklyn to trade insults with Floyd Mayweather. There’s just no competing with that.

Had Duffy not signed on the dotted line, McGregor would have been left as the sole Irish-born fighter established on the UFC roster.

Just two years ago, when Duffy announced himself to the wider MMA audience with a first-round TKO of Jake Lindsey on his promotional debut at UFC 185, that scenario would have been unthinkable.

Irish fighters were ubiquitous among the ranks of the UFC as the first generation from the island bounded in behind McGregor. But now, after a slew of retirements and pink slips, they’re an endangered species.

On reflection, Duffy is somewhat taken aback by the brevity of the Celtic culling, but he’s confident the status quo will be temporary. In typically modest fashion, he also doubted whether his absence would have been keenly felt.

“To be honest, it was strange the way it happened, and it all seemed to happen very quick,” Duffy told MMAjunkie. “You had (Cathal Pendred, Paddy Holohan and Aisling Daly) retiring, and it was just so quick how it all thinned out.

“I’m not sure me leaving would have been too much of a loss because there’s always going to be a lot of talent coming through in Ireland. We love our combat sports, so I’m sure the future is going to be bright for the country.”

Veteran flyweight and Irish MMA icon Neil Seery hung up his gloves following a submission loss to Alexandre Pantoja just under a fortnight ago at UFC Fight Night 113, leaving McGregor as the lone survivor from that famous night at Dublin’s 3Arena in 2014 when Ireland was briefly the epicenter of the MMA universe.

Of course, Russian-born featherweight Artem Lobov, who grew up in Ireland, proudly flies the flag of both countries when he competes, while SBG Ireland team member Gunnar Nelson is a beloved adopted son of the Emerald Isle.

Another SBG man, Charlie Ward, has fought and lost twice under the UFC’s banner, but his UFC stint only materialized due to his connection with McGregor.

Given he has not lived in Ireland since childhood, Duffy was always somewhat of an outlier as an Irish fighting entity, but his connection to home has never waned. In fact, he draws strength from it daily.

“From day one, right back to my Cage Warriors days,” Duffy said, “that’s what my inspiration and drive was. I remember hearing about the bars being full at home with people who were watching the Cage Warriors live streams. That spurred me on even more.

“Every training camp, I remember the thoughts of people sitting in the bar watching the fight and everyone who traveled over, and that’s always been one of my inspirations. And that’s not to even mention all the fans from Wales and England who have followed me. It all means a lot to me.”

The son of a fisherman, Duffy was born close to the fishing village of Burtonport on the untamed but beautiful northwest coast of Ireland.

When the fishing industry began to dry up there, his father followed his uncle to work as tunneller in Wales. When Duffy was nine months old, the entire family made the move.

The Duffys returned to Ireland for a time when Joseph was small child, before returning to Wales, while family vacations to Donegal were frequent.

As such, Duffy was, in some people’s eyes, neither quite Irish or Welsh. But he knew exactly who he was.

“Since I was a kid, I was never one to follow the click or the bubble,” Duffy said.” Living in Wales and being Irish, I didn’t fit in there. Then coming home after living in Wales, there were people who wouldn’t consider me Irish.

“But if you let that all bother you, you’ll get nothing done. I was always proud of being Irish, right the way through school, and all my friends knew it very well. I’ve still got all my friends from Donegal, the ones I grew up with.”

In total, beginning with Tom Egan at UFC 93, and concluding with Ward’s loss at the hands of Galore Bofando, also at UFC Fight 133 in Glasgow, a total of 10 Irish-born fighters have fought in the UFC.

And every one of them has been supported with a manic fervor by their compatriots, which is a hallmark of the Irish sports fan; they rarely do half measures. In that respect, Duffy is proud to be native athlete they can rally around.

“No matter what sport it is, the Irish fans have always proved themselves and their support is always incredible,” he said. “The Irish fans will always get behind the likes of Gunnar Nelson and Artem Lobov, so it’s almost like there are more of us.

“You see it when Conor fights, with the amount of them that turn up. It would have been a bit of shame for the Irish fans to have nobody to get behind if Conor did decide to knock it on the head.”

Although McGregor has said he will return to MMA to defend his UFC lightweight title in December, his projected windfall for the boxing match with Mayweather next month is such that might he think otherwise.

Should that be the case, Duffy will be, for the time being at least, the last Irishman standing in the UFC, while over in Bellator, James Gallaghershould continue to make waves.

Training at the Tristar gym under Firas Zahabi and Eric O’Keefe, Duffy has been a resident of Montreal for more than two years. And while his skills are being honed in Canada, it’s Ireland where Duffy finds the fuel to compete.

“Before a camp, I try to get home,” Duffy said. “Because, when I go home and speak to people, and hear how much it means to them, it reminds me of that. That’s the difficult part, because when you’re away from it, sometimes you can forget.

“Some of the things people say to me is such a motivation, and I remember those words all through camp. If you’re having a bad session or things aren’t going your way, it those words you think of to push you on. And they were some of the people who really motivated me to do well.”

After defeating Ivan Gorge via first-round submission in his sophomore promotional appearance at UFC Fight Night 72 in Glasgow, Duffy took a trip back to Donegal to catch up with friends and family. What awaited him was a gesture he’ll never forget.

“I remember going home just after the Glasgow fight, and my cousins surprised me up the town, and lot of people from the town came out to welcome me home,” he said. “Then my best friend organized something for me after a festival that was going on, so home has always meant a great deal to me.”

At 29 and with his professional future secure, Duffy feels a sense of urgency about getting back in the cage and resuming his ascent through arguably the most exacting division in the sport.

And, just on the off-chance a reminder to do was required, he’s had plenty of prompting from the green hoards.

“The Irish fans on social media have been nagging me to get more active, and I haven’t been able to because I’ve been working on my game, but now I want to start putting on shows for those guys,” Duffy said.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC-Glasgow's 10 memorable moments, including Galore Bofando's crazy throw-KO

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

In a month chock full of UFC events, Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 113 show at SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland, flew a bit under the radar.

One reason for the card’s low profile was that most of the MMA world was focused on the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor world tour in the days leading up to the event. Another reason was the broadcast time; the event was an evening show in Scotland, which translated to Sunday afternoon in North America. While that time slot might work in the winter, it’s a risky one during the summer months.

For those who didn’t catch the fights as they happened, I’m sorry to say you missed out.

Seven of the bouts, including a main event in which Santiago Ponzinibbio defied the odds and knocked out the favored Gunnar Nelson in 88 seconds, ended in stoppages.

For more on the UFC’s most recent fight card, check out 10 memorable moments from UFC Fight Night 113.

1. If you didn’t know, now you know

Competing in the first main event of his UFC career, Ponzinibbio delivered. Not only did he pick up an upset win Ponzinibbio (25-3 MMA, 7-2)
also became the first man to stop Nelson (16-3-1 MMA, 7-3 UFC)
inside the distance after delivering a straight left that had “Gunni’s” eyes rolling into the back of his head. Ponzinibbio also claimed his first “Performance of the Night” bonus in nine UFC fights with the first-round knockout.

While the victory might not turn Ponzinibbio into a star – and Nelson’s complaints of an eye-poke have soured a bit of the post-event celebration – it will put the Argentinian fighter on the radar of fight fans who might have been sleeping on him. The win should also earn Ponzinibbio a fight against a top-15 welterweight, and if the UFC needs some suggestions, Ponzinibbio suggested Carlos Condit or Neil Magny.

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2. What’s the next move?

Cynthia Calvillo scored the biggest win of her three-fight UFC career after earning a unanimous-decision win over Joanne Calderwood. The victory came in Calvillo’s third fight of 2017, and now the UFC and the fighter have some things to ponder.

After her submission win over Pearl Gonzalez at UFC 210, UFC President Dana White said he got the same feeling from Calvillo that he did from Ronda Rousey, Conor McGregor and Joanna Jedrzejczyk, which seemed to indicate the promotion is going to want to keep her busy and visible. That might be a mistake.

Despite her unbeaten record, Calvillo is still a green pro, and her active schedule has kept her in training camp pretty much since her pro debut in August 2016. Calvillo (6-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) did well against Calderwood (11-3 MMA, 3-3 UFC), but the UFC might want to provide her with some more gym time to allow her to strengthen her overall MMA game before rushing her into a fight against a top-level strawweight.

3. Location, location, location

The move to Team Roufusport has literally paid off for Paul Felder. Since shifting his training to the Milwaukee gym, Felder has scored two “Performance of the Night” bonus-winning first-round knockouts, including his UFC Fight Night 113 stoppage via elbows on the ground of Stevie Ray.

The victory over Ray (21-7 MMA, 5-2 UFC) should raise Felder’s (14-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) stock to its highest level since he joined the UFC in 2014, and don’t be shocked if he gets his post-fight wish of a place in the lightweight rankings or a fight against a top-15 opponent.

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4. A confident man

There was something different about Khalil Rountree at UFC Fight Night 113. Something that was noticeable as he stood in his corner ahead of his light-heavyweight bout against Paul Craig with a look on his face that seemed to say, “Yeah, let’s get this over with.”

When the fight began, what that something was became evident: It was confidence.

Rountree (6-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) calmly stalked Craig (9-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) throughout the first stanza, lowering his defenses as his fear of his opponent’s offense dropped. When the end came, it was a short and brutal uppercut that turned out Craig’s lights with seconds to spare before the horn ended the round.

After a rough 0-2 start to his UFC career, Rountree now has two consecutive first-round knockout wins to his name and a lot of momentum to go with his surging confidence.

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5. What he said

Danny Roberts and Bobby Nash were looking to get back in the win column after they both had long winning streaks come to an end in their previous bouts. Roberts (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) had his wish come true after earning a second-round TKO win over Nash (8-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC) in their welterweight contest.

Roberts set up the finish with a hard kick to Nash’s body and then delivered a big left that dropped him to the mat. With Nash still flat on his back, Roberts stalked around the cage before shouting, “I’m (expletive) back!” into the cageside camera.

Any confidence Roberts lost following his KO loss to Mike Perry in October seemed to be restored by his first knockout win under the UFC banner.

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6. Heading into an uncertain future

Neil Seery might have finished his MMA career with a submission defeat, but he didn’t leave the octagon with regrets. After the fight, he said he felt it was the right time to wrap up a run that began in 2005.

After tapping to Alexandre Pantoja’s (18-2 MMA, 2-0 UFC) via third-round rear-naked choke in their flyweight bout, the 37-year-old Seery (16-13 MMA, 3-4 UFC) spoke about the uncertainty facing him now that he is a former fighter.

“There are a lot of options out there,” he said. “I’ve got a full-time job. I’ve got another kid on the way. I have five kids. I’m just going to have to find something to do. I’ve got a lot of fishing rods up the riverside.

“But I just don’t know. And that’s what scares me. I’ve got to be honest with you – that’s what scares me. When you think it’s all over and it’s done and you’re not going to fight again, it’s very frightening.”

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7. You’ve been Bofando’d

Galore Bofando opened his welterweight contest against Charlie Ward by throwing a lot of flashy kicks, but it was his strength that earned him a knockout win in his UFC debut.

After dealing with two minutes of Bofando (5-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) dancing around the outside, Ward (3-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC) closed the distance and worked his opponent to the fence. With the fighters in the clinch, Ward attempted a trip, and that’s when Bofando used his power to shrug it off and slam him to the mat, knocking him out.

After the memorable KO win, Bofando called out Ward’s teammate.

“There was talk of Artem Lobov before at 155 pounds, which could be an interesting fight,” Bofando said. “I think I (would) beat him.”

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8. Risky business

As far as game plans go, it’s hard to recommend the one David Henry used to secure a victory over Daniel Teymur.

Knowing Teymur (6-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) had never been past the 3:27 mark of the first round, Henry (11-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) wanted to take him into uncharted territory. To accomplish that feat, Henry absorbed 49 strikes in the first five minutes of the fight from Teymur, who entered the lightweight contest with six first-round stoppages on his resume.

The risky plan paid off. Teymur faded as the bout wore on, allowing Henry to find his groove and come close to finishing the fight on several occasions. Henry ultimately settled for a decision victory in his UFC debut.

Henry and Teymur were awarded “Fight of the Night” honors for their exciting prelim bout.

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9. Broken, but unbeaten

Brett Johns put together a solid performance in securing a unanimous-decision win over Albert Morales (7-2-1 MMA, 1-2-1 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 113. After the victory, Johns (14-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) revealed he was a “broken” fighter heading into the contest.

“People don’t realize this, but it’s been a 20-week camp,” Johns said. “I trained for London (UFC Fight Night 107 in March), and it didn’t happen. And I didn’t take time off. I went right back into camp. This is my 20th week in camp. Like I said, I’m quite broken at the moment.”

Now 2-0 in the UFC, the former Titan FC and CFFC bantamweight champ plans on taking a break before returning to the octagon in December. Johns hopes to face a fighter near the top 20 when he does fight in his third UFC contest.

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10. Calling her shot

With her TKO win over Amanda Lemos, Leslie Smith has her first two-fight winning streak in the UFC, and she has an idea where she wants that streak to lead: right to a fight vs. Bethe Correia.

Smith (10-7-1 MMA, 4-3 UFC) put pressure on Lemos (6-1-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) from the start of the fight, throwing 207 strikes before referee Rich Mitchell waved off the bantamweight bout in the second round. After the win, Smith, bloodied but unbothered, told UFC commentator Dan Hardy about her goals.

“Bethe Correia, you’ve been building up everybody else’s career; now I want to use you to build up mine,” Smith said. “It’s a payday for both of us and a damn good fight for all the fans.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 113, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Gray Maynard calls out Artem Lobov after TUF 25 Finale – because he doesn't want another Ryan Hall

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Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

LAS VEGAS – Two-time lightweight title challenger Gray Maynard celebrated a win over Teruto Ishihara at The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale while venting at his previous opponent, Ryan Hall.

Maynard, who officially dropped to featherweight a year ago, called out critics who wrote him off after a loss to Hall and asked to fight Artem Lobov, declaring: “I’ll never take another fight that the person’s a coward.

“Everybody is like, ‘He got beat, he’s done.’ No, I’m not done. That was nothing. He didn’t even punch me. I barely even punched him. There was no risk in that fight (with Hall). It was a waste of time. And everybody still called me out. That’s not my fault. He’s the (expletive); he’s the coward. And I’ll never take a fight like that again.”

Maynard (13-6-1 MMA, 11-6-1 UFC) went back to his wrestling roots against Ishihara (9-4-2 MMA, 2-2-1 UFC), repeatedly taking the fight to the mat and grinding out the Japanese prospect. Judges ruled it a complete shutout, awarding unanimous 30-26 scorecards in the UFC Fight Pass-streamed bout at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Maynard came into the fight on a bad skid, losing five of seven bouts since a title rematch with now ex-lightweight champ Frankie Edgar ended in a knockout loss. But he said MMA observers who advised him to retire only provided motivation.

“Yeah, they have (written me off),” he said. “But that’s OK, because every article, every tweet I see about ‘Gray should retire,’ ‘Gray should do this,’ all I read is what they would do if they were me. They would retire. They would quit. I don’t quit. I don’t quit until I win.”

Win he did. And at 145 pounds, Maynard feels unstoppable.

Check out his emotional post-fight interview in the video above.

And for complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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After debut win, Jared Gordon calls out Artem Lobov: I would crush him

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UFC featherweight Jared Gordon looked every bit the part of the talented prospect he’s been billed in his UFC debut, and now he’s taking aim at a high-profile name in the division.

“I always think about the task at hand, but I would love to fight Artem Lobov,” Gordon said following his debut win. “I think I would crush him.”

“Flash” Gordon (13-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) looked impressive in a second-round TKO win over fellow UFC newcomer Michel Quinones (8-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) at this past Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 112 event in Oklahoma City. Were it not for missing weight ahead of the fight, the performance would have been deemed nearly flawless, and the 28-year-old believes there will be many more quality performances on the horizon.

“In the end of 2017, if everything goes well and I’m healthy, I see myself fighting a top-10 guy, and then 2018, 2019, winning the belt,” Gordon said.

It’s a lofty ambition, but Gordon has already overcome numerous hurdles in his path to the UFC. Now, the New Yorker wants to make a quick rise up the ranks by picking off recognizable opponents. First on that list is Lobov (13-13-1 UFC, 2-3 UFC), who’s currently helping teammate and UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor prepare for a high-stakes boxing match with Floyd Mayweather.

“He’s a name, so I need names,” Gordon said.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Artem Lobov wonders if Floyd Mayweather really wants to fight Conor McGregor

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Depending on how negotiations are going with Dana White and the UFC, it would seem Floyd Mayweather has every reason to fight Conor McGregor.

Well, two actually.

First of all, the potential to reel in a massive payday is there – and we all know just how much that means to Mayweather. Second, there’s little to know risk in accepting a boxing match vs. someone who has never competed in boxing before.

But UFC featherweight Artem Lobov, who trains with McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC), wonders if Mayweather (49-0 boxing) really does want a fight with the UFC lightweight champion now that we’ve approached put-up-or-shut-up time.

“The ball is in Mayweather’s court right now,” Lobov said in a recent interview with Fight Nights Global. “He’s the last signature that’s needed. He’s talked a big game, so let’s see if it happens now. Let’s see can he deliver now. When it really matters now, will he show up to fight?

“That’s what everybody wants to see. It’s going to be a great fight, so let’s make it happen.”

Mayweather, 40, hasn’t fought since Sept. 2015 when he took an underwhelming unanimous decision from Andre Berto four months after beating Manny Pacquiao in a superfight that failed to live up to years of hype.

Mayweather’s feelings on a potential fantasy fight with McGregor have come around drastically in recent months, though there was a time when the retired boxing legend made it clear to everyone that he was perfectly content not fighting.

You know what that means. The negotiated numbers with White and the UFC are all that matter in determining if the fight happens.

Checkout Fight Nights Global’s interview with Lobov above.

And for more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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