Taking a Chance in Nashville

ufc-fn108It is the era of trash talking in the UFC as people who talk a good game are getting ahead more than ever before.

In the past, it often was up to the performance of the fighter that got them to where they needed to be in their division.

Now it is less about the skill and more about the ability to sell a fight as there are countless fighters getting big opportunities because they can talk.

Some have been able to take full advantage of that and the best example is the man that ushered in this new era.

Conor McGregor is the best talker in the business as there has been nobody in the history of the UFC that has mastered the promotional game as well as him.

He talked his way up the rankings and into becoming a champion of two divisions at the same time.

All the while, he was making money and becoming the highest paid fighter in the sport and other fighters took notice.

As McGregor talked and continued to get massive fights and massive paydays other fighters began doing the same thing.

The only problem with many was that McGregor actually backed up all of his talk only losing one fight since he entered the UFC.

Other fighters try to make waves but often they bite off more than they can chew and their talk lands them into a fight that they aren’t ready for.

The UFC likes good fights and they like people that sell those fights but a sure way to get on their bad side is to talk a big game and come out with a terrible fight.

McGregor’s style may have worn off more on his main training partner than anyone else and it paid off.

Artem Lobov was a member of the Ultimate Fighter when McGregor was a coach and naturally, McGregor chose the Russian for his team.

Since that time Lobov has never really been a fighter that looked like a future contender despite his ability on the feet.

He had great power throughout the reality show and there was certainly potential but without a ground game to back it up he was never going to do much.

After losing two straight he began to show that potential much better winning two straight and continuing to develop.

Then he made a decision that was going to change his career for better or for worse when he called out Cub Swanson after his decision win against Teruto Ishihara.

Swanson was just coming off of the 2016 fight of the year and hadn’t been scheduled to return to the octagon but was ranked as one of the top fighters in the featherweight division.

Despite his win, Lobov was not in the top 15 and calling out one of the best in the division was certainly a big leap from the talent that he had beaten in his young career.

Lobov made the call but not many thought that Swanson would answer because it truly does nothing for the career of the UFC veteran.

A win moves him nowhere because he was always supposed to win and a loss sends him falling down the rankings ruining his momentum.mma-sidebar.fw

Swanson did accept though as the call-out did its job and got on the bad side of Swanson enough so that Swanson thought he had something to prove.

When looking at both head to head it was clear that Swanson was the better fighter in all aspects but Lobov did bring some heavy hands.

Upsets have happened though and if Swanson went into the fight not taking Lobov seriously he might take the loss.

Lobov continues to develop and he is getting better in the every fight not to mention that he is constantly in the octagon against the most unique striker in the promotion.

It may only be training but what Lobov can learn from McGregor in that training can make him better as he gets more time.

He was looking to bring that experience and his developing talents to shock the MMA world and beat Swanson to prove that he has the skills to back up his mouth.

The start of the fight showed that h just might have those skills as Lobov did well to keep up with Swanson putting on a good strategy.

Things slowly turned though as Swanson started to gain confidence and in the second round brought Lobov to the ground where he almost sunk in a submission.

Swanson continued after that round but avoiding the feet and staying standing with Lobov and rocking him multiple times.

He quickly racked up rounds and eventually saw his hand raised for the unanimous decision win.

The fight was a good shot for Lobov but he couldn’t take advantage of it and took the loss, albeit he hung in there for five rounds against a great fighter.

Swanson might want a title shot next but this fight didn’t move him up and although it was an impressive win he likely will need one more win to get that shot.

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