Artem Lobov, the popular Russian-Irish fighter, has decided to retire from fighting.
Lobov confirmed the news to me Friday morning. He declined to provide a comment on why he was choosing to call it a career now.
The 34-year-old Lobov walks away just days after losing a bare knuckle bout to Denys Berinchyk in Ukraine. He walks away from competition with a 13-15-1 (1 NC) MMA record and a 2-2 BK record.
Considered somewhat of a cult favorite, MMA fans nicknamed the popular Lobov “The GOAT” for his willingness to fight anyone, any time.
A long-time teammate of Conor McGregor’s, Lobov made his UFC in December 2015, losing in The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale to Ryan Hall. The highlight of his UFC career came at UFC 202 in August 2016 when he defeated Nathan Diaz teammate Chris Avila on the undercard of McGregor-Diaz 2.
Without question, though, his highest-profile win came against former boxer Paulie Malignaggi at Bare Knuckle FC 9 in June 2019. The bout came after Malignaggi feuded with McGregor in the leadup to Mayweather-McGregor. Lobov defeated Malignaggi via unanimous decision.
Lobov made his MMA debut in November 2010.