Artem Lobov is a training partner of former two division UFC champion Conor McGregor, who recently announced his retirement from professional MMA competition.
Despite the retirement announcement, one thing Lobov firmly believes is that McGregor will fight again.
“I don’t actually know much info on that but one thing I do know, I know that Conor absolutely loves the fight game,” Lobov said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show (via Jed Meshew of MMA Fighting). “He truly loves it. Look, I always say this, 99 percent of people in the UFC would be gone if they have made $100 million. They just wouldn’t be there anymore and he’s still there. Why? Because he loves the fight game. He loves fighting. So I know he’s got something special in store for us, that’s for sure. I think [he will fight again]. I think he will definitely put away a few more guys. I just know him. I know he loves this game. He loves the fight game and this is not just a job to him. This is him. He is the fight game.”
McGregor has also demanded to get equity in the UFC, which the promotion has denied, but Lobov says the retired fighter deserves it.
“The thing is, it’s a business,” said Lobov. “They’re fighting for every percentage there because when it comes down to Conor’s fights, even one percent means millions and millions and millions. In my eyes, of course he deserves a percentage of the UFC. His last fight was two and half million and that same year there was a pay-per-view card with 80,000 PPVs sold. That speaks for itself. He is the reason why the company was sold for $4 billion so why shouldn’t he get a piece of that? For anybody who says, ‘Then everyone will ask for that,’ no they won’t, because you tell them, ‘Show me your numbers. Show me what you bring in.’ You get a piece of the pie that you bring in. If you arrive with a bag of peanuts, then you can’t expect to eat a steak. But if you are killing a whole deer like Conor is then of course you deserve a nice, juicy piece of steak and he should get it.”
If McGregor decides to stay retired, it would mean a loss to UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 would serve as his final professional MMA bout.