Main event begins at 11.45pm pacific time, Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee
Swanson – 24 – 7 – 0
Lobov – 13 – 12 – 1
Cub Swanson: (-600 with Bovada.lv)
Artem Lobov: (+400 with Bovada.lv)
A perplexing card in America’s south is headlined by MMA journeyman Artem Lobov and electric veteran Cub Swanson.
UFC: Cub Swanson vs Atrem Lobov Next!
— Brandon The Truth 💯 (@Brandon_Nocaute) April 18, 2017
Many eyebrows were raised when Ultimate Fighter 22 runner-up Lobov was named as Swanson’s next opponent, given the unranked fighter has hardly set the world on fire since entering the UFC.
UFC reaching a new low this saterday with Artem Lobov in the main event
— Davey O Connor (@daveyoconnor96) April 18, 2017
The “Russian Hammer” lost the Ultimate Fighter Finale and went on to taste defeat in his company debut, but has since won the next two bouts via unanimous decision.
The Russian-turned-Irishman faces wily American veteran Cub Swanson, who is on fire in the division.
Across his last 11 fights Swanson has lost just twice, which were bouts against superstars of the featherweight class; Frankie Edgar and Max Holloway.
Many have pointed to Lobov’s long-time training partner and friend Conor McGregor for his current UFC employment, and Swanson does not disagree.
If Artem Lobov wasn’t one of Conor McGregor’s clingons he’d be in the EFN, a million miles away from a UFC card let alone the main event.
— Scott Bond (@_ScottBond_) March 14, 2017
The 33-year-old believes people are “pissed off” that the McGregor factor has contributed to Lobov’s place within the UFC.
“I feel like with his record and things like that there are so many more deserving people to be in the UFC.” Swanson said.
“So somebody else in that situation, if it wouldn’t have been for Conor, he would have had to stream together a lot more wins and do a lot more things. So I think people are pissed off about that. I particularly don’t like him for that.”
Swanson was critical of the outspoken Lobov in the build up to the weekend’s fight, saying he is looking to make “an example” of his opponent.
“He’s trying to be somebody, like a lot of these young guys are trying to be somebody that they’re not,” he said.
“And he’s trying to talk crap. You know, he called me a b*tch and he said I had no balls. I feel like those two things aren’t true statements.
“If feel like if you’re going to call me out on something, call me out on something that’s true, but those aren’t true.
“To me it’s just ridiculous, and I’d like to make an example out of him.”
One of the more eyebrow raising decisions in UFC history was made when Artem Lobov was handed a main event slot on a Fight Night card, but the “Russian Hammer” gets the chance to prove the doubters wrong against popular American Cub Swanson on the weekend.
Unless he has a skill-set that we have not yet seen however, we are struggling to mount an argument as to how the Russian turned Irishman can win.
71 percent of Swanson’s losses in MMA have come about via submission, a method of victory that Lobov has only utilized twice in his professional career.
Over half of Lobov’s victories have come by way of decision, but in all but one of his trips to the judge’s scorecard, Swanson has lost just once.
It does not bode well for the Russian Hammer.
Unless something monumentally out of the ordinary happens on Saturday we see no way that Lobov can overcome Swanson.
The challenge is too big and Swanson is too good.