Screenshot: Instagram.

The World’s Greatest Fighter Artem Lobov Has Signed With the First Legal Bare-Knuckle Boxing Promotion in the United States… He’s Set to Fight for Bareknucle FC…

Artem Lobov is possibly the most iconic fighter to ever represent both Ireland and Russia at the same time. The former UFC featherweight first came to prominence as Conor McGregor’s sparring partner. Then he was given a shot on the Ultimate Fighter, which he blew, but it was ok because McGregor was allowed to bring him back as a wildcard.

‘The Russian Hammer’ has a remarkable record of 12 wins and 15 losses. It’s quite incredible really that only 15 people on the planet earth have been able to defeat Lobov, who went 2-5 in the UFC. He beat Teruto Ishihara and Chris Avila, but clearly had a ceiling, as he lost to the likes of Cub Swanson, Michael Johnson, and Andre Fili.

Lobov has gained a cult following and is sure to excite his fans with the news that he has signed for Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships in the US.

Signed Up

The news broke a couple of weeks ago that Lobov had been granted his release from the UFC. He had been flirting with basically every promotion on the planet, including Bellator, ONE Championship, RIZIN, and even pro kickboxing and boxing. Now though he’s set to sign for one of the fastest rising combat sports groups on the planet.

Lobov is said to fight another former UFC veteran when he makes his debut. Jason Knight – also known as ‘Hick Diaz’ – is another former fan-favourite who never quite made the impact he wanted with the world’s biggest MMA promotion. Now, these two men will take each other on in what could be a very entertaining bout on April 20. Lobov has been granted pay-per-view points, and also the option to sign a contract with an MMA promotion as well.


BKFC had a massive 2018, and look set to consolidate their niche this year. As the first legal bare-knuckle boxing promotion in the US, they quickly gained a fanbase for their stripped back events, with intense and bloody violence. The fighters only wear wraps around their hands and wrists, with the knuckles uncovered (obviously).

The promotion has made a habit of signing former UFC and Bellator talent with Bec Rawlings one of their biggest stars, and the likes of Chris Lytle, Kendall Grove, and Ricco Rodriguez on their roster. The majority of their cards have taken place in Wyoming and Mississipi, although their latest was in Cancun Mexico.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

Smart Business

This is a really good bit of business for BKFC. As we’ve said, the GOAT has a strong cult following. There’s also a bigger reason why they might have jumped at the chance to sign Lobov. You’ve got to assume they’re hoping that Conor McGregor will attend one of their events. Where ‘The Notorious’ goes, drama usually follows. Even a single Instagram post from him would reach a massive audience compared to their own following.

2019 could be huge for BKFC, who have already announced that Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson will be taking up an executive role with them. They could be the next big thing in combat sports. Watch this space.

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