Photos: Phil Lambert
MMA veteran Artem Lobov defeated former world champion Paulie Malignaggi via five round unanimous decision in a bare-knuckle match on Saturday night at the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall in Tampa. Judges unanimously scored the contest for the aggressive Lobov 48-47. Malignaggi’s longstanding social media “beef” with UFC star Connor McGregor led him to facing McGregor’s stablemate and friend Lobov.
“I am not sure what the judges were looking at, but I felt like he walked into a lot of my jabs and check left hooks,” said Malignaggi, who may have broken his hand. “Maybe it’s beneath me, but I thought I would give it a shot, give him a shot. Maybe I was wrong. I am 38 years old so I am not interested in campaigning or competing in bare-knuckle against this loss. I kind of liked the adrenaline rush and it was different, but I am done.”
“This was an emotional fight for me,” said Lobov. “I started more on back foot than usual, but still pressed and stalked him. Even though many people talk a lot about fighting and Paulie had a lot to say, he showed up to fight so I respect him for that. The feud is over and we move on. I am happy I was victorious tonight and I can focus back on my family and my son. It’s all about him now.”