Opinion: Artem Lobov has earned the right to stay in the UFC

He lost to Cub Swanson at the weekend

BY Simon Maguire 18:29 Wednesday 26 April 2017, 18:29 26 Apr 2017

Artem Lobov. Image: ©INPHO/Presseye/Matt Mackey

Artem "The Russian Hammer" Lobov has finally emerged from the shadow cast by his longtime training partner and friend, Conor McGregor.

Many had suggested the adopted Dubliner was only in the UFC on the coattails of his illustrious sparring partner but those thoughts can be put to bed now.

In going the distance with Swanson, Lobov proved that while he won't be challenging for a world title anytime soon - he's justified in facing any one ranked in the bottom half of the top 15 featherweights.

His bout at the weekend excited a highly judgemental crowd - who had previously (and unfairly) booed at the conclusion of John Dodson's win over Eddie Wineland. 

Despite winning the first round, Lobov blocked punches with his head for the majority of the fight and no doubt endeared himself to casual and hardcore fans alike.

The pair each pocketed an extra $50,000 for their "Fight of the Night" efforts and while Swanson called for a title shot after the bout, Lobov can now look forward to making a name for himself in the UFC featherweight division. 

Despite the animosity leading up to the bout between the pair, there 's nothing better than five rounds in a cage to iron out any differences.

Lobov should target a match-up with Dooho Choi, who coincidentally shared a "Fight of the Night" barn-buster with Swanson last December. 

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