Artem Lobov was offered the opportunity to replace an injured Doo Ho Choi against Andre Fili at UFC 214, but the fighter turned down that chance.
The reason that Lobov turned down the chance to fight Fili was so he can help Conor McGregor for his upcoming super fight against Floyd Mayweather.
“Let’s be honest: I don’t give a (expletive) about Andre Fili,” Lobov said to MMA Junkie. “I could fight that guy any day of the week. Once this fight is out of the way, and Conor knocks out Mayweather and has the world at his feet, we can see what’s going to happen then. Conor got into the UFC. We all helped him to get there, and then he pulled everybody up there with him. I owe it to him to help him in any way I can.”
Lobov hasn’t competed since headlining UFC Fight Night 108, where he suffered a decision loss to Cub Swanson.
One of the main ways that Lobov is helping McGregor for the Mayweather bout is to act as one of his sparring partners.
“If you look at it, they said the same things about getting specific training partners before the Jose Aldo fight,” Lobov said. “They said the same for the (Eddie) Alvarez fight, too. They even said the same for the Dustin Poirier fight and for all of the other fights. Look at how those fights ended. (Conor) had no issues with sparring partners then. I was his sparring partner then and it was just fine. Obviously, this is boxing and it’s a slightly different game. We understand that and there are sparring partners lined up. We will leave no stone unturned in this camp. Everything is going to be taken care of. The preparation is going to be 100 percent on point.”
Conor McGregor versus Floyd Mayweather takes place on Saturday, August 26 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.