It appears that one of the UFC’s fan favorites has found a new home, under a bare-knuckle ruleset.
Artem Lobov (13-15-1) of UFC fame was a free agent after being granted his release from the MMA promotion this past month. According to Lobov, there were many offers on the table, from the likes of Bellator MMA and others. However according to Ariel Helwani who broke the news this morning, Artem Lobov is leaving the sport of MMA behind, for the moment anyways.
It was revealed Wednesday that Lobov has signed a three fight, six figure deal with the Bare Knuckle FC promotion. With that came the announcement that Lobov’s debut would come against fellow ex-UFC fighter Jason Knight, who also stalked the UFC featherweight division, thought the pair never crossed paths. The fight is set for April 20, at a venue yet to be announced.
This is just one of many acquisitions for the upstart Bare Knuckle promotion. Since their debut event last year, they’ve promoted four cards and featured many notable former UFC fighters. The likes of Bec Rawlings, Ricco Rodriguez, Kendal Grove and Julian Lane have all fought under the BKFC banner. Rawlings has become their breakout star, becoming champion and going 3-0 under the bare knuckle ruleset.
It appears that Bare Knuckle fighting has been the trend in combat sports as of late in the US. After becoming legalized in a number of states within the past year, the sport has seen many former world champions, including Johnny Hendricks, fight under the controversial ruleset. Now joining them is a former all time great in his own right, the one, the only Artem Lobov.
According to Helwani, Lobov is still permitted to compete in MMA promotion under his BKFC contract. So if you’re missing your Lobov MMA fill, stay tuned for more news to come.