In 2019, Artem Lobov pulled off a stunning upset when he defeated former boxing world champion Paulie Malignaggi at BKFC 6. What made the upset less shocking, aside from Artem Lobov being the GOAT, is the fact that the world of bare-knuckle boxing was unchartered territory for Malignaggi. Looking back, what makes the outcome completely unsurprising for Malignaggi himself is his belief that the fight was rigged against him from the start.
“By the time we got to [the fight], I feel like a lot of the MMA community railed against me,” Malignaggi said on The Daru Strong Podcast. “And it’s funny because I didn’t find out it was gonna be MMA judges until the night of the fight. I went to the back, I was getting my hands wrapped, and they told me like, ‘Yo, you gotta take a picture for your license…and they’re like, ‘Nah, it’s gotta be an MMA license…because technically, this is MMA.
“I should have realized right there that it’s gonna be MMA judges. But in the moment, I’m there; it’s whatever. But looking back now when I didn’t get the decision, I’m like, ‘Yo, that was MMA judges. That’s why he came back and told me that.’ So looking back, that ended up how it went—and yeah, I broke my hand.”
Malignaggi has not competed since this loss to Lobov. As for Lobov, this victory over Malignaggi would serve as the final one of his career. The Russian announced his retirement earlier this year following a bare-knuckle boxing loss to Denys Berinchyk.
Do you think Paulie Malignaggi may have been the victim of bias from “MMA judges” in his 2019 loss to Artem Lobov?