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Artem Lobov to make Bareknuckle Boxing switch

Mixed martial arts star Artem Lobov will indeed be making a move into boxing but not in the form that most expected.

It has been announced this afternoon that the Irish-Russian has signed up to the BKFC bareknuckle boxing promotion in America.

Last month Lobov had a request to be released from his UFC contract granted and the sparring partner of Conor McGregor stated that he was open to offers from all major combat promotions.

READ: Artem Lobov wants boxing switch

This included a move into boxing, with Lobov suggesting that he could add entertainment to the sport – and he would call out upcoming title challenger Amir Khan and retired two-weight champ Paulie Malignaggi.

A number of Irish fight figures offered Lobov their support – or challenged him to fights – following this.

However, the immensely popular SBG fighter – whose pro MMA record reads 13-15-1 – has now joined up with the glove-less code.

ESPN report that Lobov has signed a three-fight six-figure deal with BKFC and will not be tied exclusively to the promotion.

The 32-year-old southpaw will make his debut within the ruleset on Saturday April 20th as part of the BKFC 6 card at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi where he’ll face local fellow UFC veteran Jason Knight.

Lobov said that “I cannot wait to fight for Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship.”

“I have been following them since the beginning. I love what they are doing and I thank David Feldman for believing in me. I look forward to this new stage in my career and I think it has the perfect ruleset for me to perform at my best ability. I look forward to becoming a star in this sport.”

BKFC founder and president David Feldman said that “I feel Artem is a great addition to our roster and his style is made for this sport.”

“Attracting and signing a guy with the following that Artem has is a perfect match for where we are right now as an organization. I think this signing speaks volumes for the direction BKFC is heading.”

“Jason Knight is an action, hard-nosed fighter who will be fighting in his hometown for the first time in a long time. This is a true crossroads fight. I personally think this is a Fight of the Year candidate.”

The BKFC was founded last year and markets itself as the first promotion to hold sanctioned bare knuckle bouts in America since 1889.

Bouts take place over five two-minute rounds which play out in a circular ring.

Sanctioned bareknuckle boxing has been enjoying something of a boom recently, with the BKB promotion in the UK running numerous events – with Sligo’s Jimmy Sweeney being one of the superstars of the sport

Irish-Boxing.com does not report on bareknuckle boxing, sanctioned or otherwise. The above story is merely a follow-up on Lobov, whose talk of moving to boxing generated a lot of interest.


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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie