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Artem Lobov: Khabib Nurmagomedov är stor i Ryssland pågrund av Conor McGregor

Av

Ralph Nordahl

21/08/2017

UFC-fjäderviktaren Artem Lobov tror att Khabib Nuramgomedov har Conor McGregor att tacka för sin stjärnstatus i Ryssland då irländaren ska ha varit en av de största orsakerna att MMA fått ett brett genomslag i landet. Detta berättade Lobov då han nyligen intervjuades av MMAfighting.

UFC:s VD Dana White berättade nyligen att McGregor är intresserad av att möta Nurmagomedov i en match match som äger rum i Ryssland. Detta skulle i så fall ske efter irländarens boxningsmatch mot Floyd Mayweather.

Lobov, som just nu hjälper McGregor med sina förberedelser, anser att en match mellan en av Rysslands största MMA-stjärnor och McGregor, sportens kanske största profil just nu, vore en monumental händelse. I synnerhet för MMA som sport i Ryssland.

It would be absolutely huge.

Every time I go to Russia I get the feeling that (MMA) is the biggest sport in the country right now. It’s the coolest sport at the moment. Men and women love it. It’s become mainstream and there are a number of reasons for that.

A personality like Conor’s appeals to the Russian people a lot. He’s always ready to go, he knocks people out and he’s tough. Obviously, Fedor Emelianenko is a huge national treasure. The president, Vladimir Putin, is a huge fan of his and the sport in general.

All of these things have made the sport very important over there, and as a result of that, MMA is very popular. When you have a sport that is so popular and a guy like Conor is at the top of his game, that provides the fans with a lot of talking points. He is the guy that everyone knows over there.

Lobov reser ofta omkring i Ryssland för att medverka som kommentator vid olika MMA-event och han berättar att många ryska fighters är tacksamma att McGregor höjt MMA:s status i landet.

When I talk to Russian fighters when I’m over there they are very thankful and complimentary of Conor. They see him as one of the main factors behind MMA becoming mainstream in Russia. The pay for most fighters has increased as the popularity of MMA has increased. They are definitely feeling the McGregor effect in the East.

Man skulle kunna tro att Nurmagomedov har en något högre stjärnstatus än McGregor i Ryssland dock anser Lobov att hans landsmans status är ett direkt resultat av den uppmärksamhet irländaren gett sporten.

As I said, Conor is the guy who has made MMA a hot topic in Russia. More and more Russians started watching the UFC when Conor came along. The more they watched, the more they understood it. Then, all of a sudden you get this Russian guy coming along and of course the Russian people put their support behind him.”

Lobov berättade även att många ryssar är missnöjda med Nurmagomedovs ständiga avhopp från stora matcher.

A lot of people in Russian aren’t happy with how Khabib has been behaving with all of his pullouts. This isn’t a very manly thing to do, not showing up for a fight. In Russia, the people have been brought up tough. It used to be the Soviet Union. The thing everybody thinks of when they think about Russia is how tough the people are.

When they see a fighter continuously pulling out, that’s something that they really don’t like. Then they look at a guy like Conor who always shows up and does what he says he’s going to do. That really resonates with the Russian public.

Skulle en match med Khabib Nurmagomedov och Conor McGregor bli av inom landets gränser förväntar sig Lobov att Rysslands MMA-följare skulle vara delade i vilken de helst ser vinna.

If a fight happens between Conor and Khabib in Russia, the support would be divided between them. It would be 50-50.

There would be a lot of support for Conor. If you factor in the Irish that would travel over, there might be even more people supporting Conor at the event even though it would be taking place in Russia.

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