Artem Lobov was supposed to take on Zubaira Tukhugov at UFC Fight Night 138 in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada on October 27. The matchup for the Featherweight showdown was announced by UFC officials on the 20th of August, 2018.
This fight would’ve been served as Lobov’s return after he got involved in the bus incident ahead of UFC 223. Remember the bus incident that was led by former two-division champion Conor McGregor back in April?
Lobov vs Tukhugov is only 2 days away, but UFC unsurprisingly cuts Tukhogov from the scheduled Featherweight showdown. That said, Lobov wasn’t happy about it.
Tukhugov Is Out At at UFC Fight Night 138
The promotion plumped on to take the Russian fighter, Zubaira, from the UFC Fight Night 138 for his involvement at the UFC 220 post-fight brawl. The UFC President, Dana White, stated that he would be banned from fighting in the Octagon.
Zubaira was one of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s team and was the one who jumped over the cage and smacked Conor McGregor. In fact, according to MMA Mania, his fight against Artem Lobov, which was set to go down on October 27, 2018, was nixed and Michael Johnson was pegged as his replacement.
“If they cut him, I want to be gone as well…”
Now, “The Russian Hammer” wants to be released from his UFC contract if the promotion follows through on its threat to Zubaira. On his interview with Ariel Helwani via ESPN, he wants to be gone as well if they cut Tukhugov.
“If they cut him, I want to be gone as well,” Lobov said on The Ariel Helwani MMA Show (via ESPN). “I will fight him in ACB, Bellator or any league he wants to do it. But I will get him. It has to be done inside the Octagon. I want to look this man in the eyes, one-on-one. Once you’re inside that Octagon, it’s one-on-one. Your skill versus his skill. Your heart versus his heart. I want to test his heart in the Octagon. I want to see what he’s got.”
Lobov isn’t too thrilled with Zubaira’s replacement, though, yet he decided to fulfill his obligations.
“I’m only doing this (against Johnson) because I was already ready to go and I haven’t fought in a year,” Lobov said. “For many reasons, I have to take this fight. But make no mistake, I want Zubaira,” he added.
“We need this win, but I don’t feel the pressure. To me, this is one step closer to getting Zubaira back. There is nothing else on my mind. That’s the only thing I can even think of. I’m not going to rest, I’m not going to sleep until I get him back.”
Do you think Lobov will be one of the fighters who have who have requested to be let go from their UFC obligations?