Lobov goes full Pikey with classic ‘Snatch’ and grab raid on Paulie Malignaggi

Paulie Malignaggi for the most part managed to turn this contest into a boxing match. As a result the fight was not much of a spectacle for the audience or an advertisement for the Bare Knuckle brand.  Despite avoiding danger for the most part and fighting on the outside,  it still wasn’t enough to give him the victory. Lobov managed to increase the pressure and tempo in the last three rounds and snatch the win.

At 38, Malignaggi was still able to dance and feint his way around the ring for most of the 5 x 2 minute rounds of this fight. He got in and out pretty clean and used his jab to good effect to the chin and with straight shots to the body of Lobov. I know nothing about the scoring systems of Bare Knuckle but I must admit I thought Malignaggi edged the fight. But as I am a bare knuckle expert for all of about 8 hours, that isn’t fair and certainly Malignaggi made no real complaint in the immediate aftermath.

All of this won’t matter a jot to Lobov – He won it 48-47 on all 3 judges cards.

Artem Lobov will be a little disappointed that he wasn’t able to turn this into something a little dirtier on the inside. I’m sure he would have loved to get the supreme bragging rights of a K.O. In the fourth and fifth rounds he certainly managed to implement more of his aggressive game-plan and Lobov was certainly the one taking the fight to Malignaggi throughout. He landed a couple of big over hand rights in both of the final rounds and managed to manhandle Malignaggi in the clinch a couple of times.

Given the build up though it was a disappointing advertisement for Bare Knuckle, neither fighter really got flowing or inflicted huge damage, for sure Malignaggi did not want to know anything about fighting on the inside and visibly flinched and retreated quickly any time Artem got close. In the first two rounds the referee helped him out in this regard before allowing the fight to flow a little more freely thereafter.

Malignaggi’s jab landed often but without doing much visible damage. Paulie looked visibly nervous about getting caught by one of Lobov’s swing right hands, Artem’s aggressiveness obviously counted for a lot with the Judges, but to be totally be frank, Lobov got a much tougher and eye catching fight on his Bare Knuckle debut with Jason Knight.

 

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The build up to this fight between Malignaggi and Lobov has been quite unlike anything I have encountered previously. Bare Knuckle 6 has managed to capture the imagination of the fight public plain and simple. Not that I think that people have any great desire to watch bare knuckle fighting mind you. No…people were kind of fascinated to see how this weird triangulation of Malignaggi, Lobov and Conor McGregor would play out. One thing is for sure now, McGregor and Paulie are unlikely ever to stand in a ring together again.

This event was squeezed between a big Bellator event in London last night and a UFC Fight Night later today. Malignaggi and Lobov have managed to eclipse both promotions this weekend in terms of social media reach and appeal.

The undercard of Bare Knuckle 6 was a who’s who of….well…..nobody I have ever heard of before. I’m sure they are very fine athletes but this event was all about the 2 guys on the top of the card. It will be very interesting to see what kind of Pay Per View numbers this fight does. Rumor has it Lobov was getting a 7 figure payday for tonight’s fight – so I can only imagine that Paulie Malignaggi, a 2 weight former world champion, is on double or treble the Lobov pay deal.

lmmm

A lot of people were wondering why Malignaggi would fight a guy like Artem Lobov. The motivation was quite clear to me. Lobov is the gateway to Conor McGregor. At least that’s what Malignaggi was banking on. The build up to this fight had been unseemly, undignified and at times downright disgusting. It culminated, for me, at one of the press conferences, where Paulie Malignaggi can be clearly seen spitting at Artem Lobov. So for that alone I am delighted Lobov got the victory tonight.

Artem Lobov is a guy I admire. Yes he got his break in the UFC due to his connection with Conor McGregor, but boy oh boy has he made the most of it. I can think of at least 4 or 5 other Irish fighters that got the same break but none have made more of it than the Russian Hammer. His fight record is the patchwork quilt of a man who never turned down a fight or an opportunity. Just on the MMA side of the house he has 15 wins and 14 losses. Guys like that are not supposed to be remembered and yet he will be, especially in his adopted home of Ireland.

Tonight, as the cameras zoomed in on Artem Lobov backstage, there was the delicious dichotomy of the Russian getting his hands bandaged in the BKFC red hand wraps while in the background lay his new-born baby son, fast asleep and oblivious to the dangers his Dad was facing in a few short minutes. No doubt this new generation of Lobov’s will grow up having more options than perhaps their father had in life and yet regardless, Dad has managed to make a resounding success of his life while at the same time securing their futures.

I can only but marvel at individuals like Artem Lobov and again tonight just when you think he has taken a step too far….He goes out and does the business.

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