Artem Lobov stunned the world by defeating Paulie Malignaggi via unanimous decision in yesterday’s Bare Knuckle FC 6 main event. As is often the case in combat sports, the animosity between the two fighters swiftly morphed into mutual respect. Just days ago, Artem’s go-to word to describe Malignaggi was “scumbag.” After BKFC 6, Artem’s description was much more complimentary and the overall tone shifted to that of respect (Transcript via MMA Fighting):
“I knew he was a tough guy,” Lobov said about Malignaggi at the BKFC 6 post fight press conference. “He’s experienced, he won 50 fights, I knew this was not going to be easy.”
“I said this before, for me I will always respect the fighter that shows up,” Lobov stated. “Paulie showed up to the spar. If you were to offer the same thing to many other boxers, they probably wouldn’t show up to the spar but he did and he did a full 12 rounds twice and he showed up again today.
“I take my hat off to him. He’s always been a fighter and he still is.”
Paulie Malignaggi believes he was the rightful winner of the fight, and bashed the judges he described as “bush league.” Whether you side with Malignaggi or the judges, Artem Lobov contends that he would have put on a much better performance had the referee not mangled his game plan:
“I was a little bit surprised with the way the referee kind of worked the clinch. He was on top of me right away, trying to break up the clinch,” Lobov said. “If you look at some of the boxing fights, even in the boxing fights where the clinch is not allowed, they allow people to work a little longer in the clinch than they did in this where the clinch is allowed.
“The one time where Paulie’s talking about where I caught him and I was landing shots and then the ref comes on top of me and pulls me off. I’m like what’s going on and he says ‘you’ve got to be landing shots’ and I’m like what the f—k was I doing do you think? I was landing shots. I was throwing shots.”
Who do you believe won the Artem Lobov/Paulie Malignaggi fight?