Artem Lobov is headed for retirement.
Lobov recently competed in a bare-knuckle bout in Ukraine. He took on the 2012 boxing Olympic silver medalist Denys Berinchyk. Lobov was stopped in the fourth round via TKO.
After the fight, Lobov praised Berinchyk and said that he will likely step away from combat sports (h/t VMTV).
“I knew that Denys is a high-class fighter, So I wanted to fight him. Why go out [against who] knows who? If I go out, then I try against the strongest and aim for the stars. If it doesn’t work out, you’ll be close to the moon. Congratulations, Denys – it was a great honor for me to perform here. Most likely, I will [retire]. There is no fire in the heart that there used to be.”
“The Russian Hammer” followed that up by revealing to MMAFighting that he is indeed calling it a career.
“It’s true, time to close the career. There’s plenty other options and suggestions to prolong my path, but not fighting.
“In order to succeed, you have to say goodbye and concentrate on other things. Of course, I’ll be with Mahatch and the Parimatch team. All my sponsors are already family for me. I feel this support indeed. So I won’t say goodbye from all fighting activities, but I need to finish my career as a fighter.”
Lobov is credited with helping get bare-knuckle boxing off the ground as far as more mainstream exposure is concerned. He turned heads with his first fight against Jason Knight, which he won via unanimous decision. Lobov then defeated former world boxing champion Paulie Malignaggi.
“The Russian Hammer” made his BKFC exit after being stopped by Knight in their rematch. While Lobov is a longtime friend and training partner of Conor McGregor, many agree that he was able to carve out his own niche and had success for a short period.
Time will tell if the 34-year-old Lobov decides to follow through with retirement plans. In an era where celebrities and MMA fighters are earning sizable paychecks for exhibition boxing matches, the right opportunity might just change Lobov’s mind.
Check out the full Denys Berinchyk vs. Artem Lobov fight below.