Conor McGregor’s Head Coach John Kavanagh Has Written an Emotional Defence of Artem Lobov’s MMA Abilities… 

Artem Lobov was defeated by Michael Johnson this weekend at UFC Moncton in New Brunswick, Canada. It was a unanimous decision, with the American fighter just doing enough in the third round to seal the win. With a record of 13 wins and 15 losses, he’s gone 2-5 in the UFC.

Many fight fans believe that he’s only in the promotion because of his close relationship to Conor McGregor. If you remember, he was picked as a wild card to come back, despite being beaten in the qualifiers. Then despite losing to Ryan Hall in the final, he was given a UFC contract. Many people believe that we’ve had enough jokes and it’s time to cut him from the organization.

John Kavanagh has written a lengthy and passionate response to this, defending his fighter. He believes that Lobov –  a former ballroom dancer – is a fighter’s fighter, and deserves respect because of this.


Kavanagh argues that Lobov should not be cut because of the quality of opposition he’s been beaten by. He said:

“I would just ask that you are honest and base your points on logic rather than your dislike for his high profile teammate. So does Artem deserve to be in the UFC based on his own merits? Should he be cut after another loss? Well firstly, if losses against high level opposition were the only criteria for being cut then you’d be quickly left with just 2 in each weight class. Sounds obvious but on every fight card HALF the fighters lose. Cut them all?

So dont cut fighters who lose more than they win? Obviously not. Someone like CM Punk who although ‘entertaining’ clearly could not compete at the UFC level. His last fight was against someone who was 1-0 as an amateur and 0-2 as a pro. For his own health he needs to fight much lower level competition. So is Artem similar? Very low skill level but has a famous mate? Well let’s look at the evidence starting with last night. I’ve been a big fan of MJ for years now. Ran over LW ‘in the title mix’ Poirer in less than 2mins. Beat the very skilled Tony Ferguson and Edson Barboza. So surely when the once no.5 ranked LW in the world fought Artem it was going to be a complete mismatch? Then how is it after 2 rounds 2 judges had it even going into the 3rd. Round 3 was close until MJ snatched it with a terrific takedown. Well done and great win. But that’s not the point. One could hardly argue it was a one sided beat down.”


The coach also believes that his fighter deserves a lot more respect because he always provides an entertaining contest. Sure, it was very generous of him to be a punching bag for Cub Swanson… Kavanagh said:

“I believe his performances in the cage against the highest level opposition in the world is worthy of a lot more respect that it gets. I don’t think Artem has the skills to be a UFC World Champion, I can be honest and state that but he 100% has earned the respect of his fellow fighters and shown, independently, he earned his spot on that stage. He understands the business and knows how to build a fight and always brings an exciting contest. Love him, hate him fans are always engaged when the Russian Hammer is on a card.”

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

Goodbye GOAT?

Is it time for the UFC to let the GOAT loose to roam free and find his own path again? Maybe he’s just too shackled by the rules in the UFC, and he’d be better suited in Bareknuckle FC, or even away from Conor McGregor’s shadow. To be fair to his Lordship, he did tell Michael Johnson that he could keep the 20% fine he was hit with, after taking a fight on short notice.

Would you miss Lobov?

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