Ronda Rousey was never that good, Rickson Gracie was a fraud, and Conor McGregor really is as badass as you don't want him to be. In the opinionated universe of MMA, everyone has a hot take when they're not incessantly agreeing with whatever the status quo is at the moment. Whatever you think is MMA right, is MMA wrong; whatever is UFC history, was whited out and written over. This is MMA devil's advocate.
Fresh off his incredible slobberknocker with Doo Ho Choi, Cub Swanson will main event UFC Nashville against — wait, Artem Lobov? That has been the consensus reaction in the MMA Twitterverse ever since it was announced. People seem to hate that the heavy-handed underdog is even in the UFC, but Lobov insists he'll piss people off even more when he wins. Instead of just going with the flow against him, let's piss more people off by arguing that he actually deserves to be there.
The 5th ranked light heavyweight in the freakin' world is Volkan Oezdemir, who has one single UFC fight and has fought only four times in three years. The hardest hitting 145-er and longtime gatekeeper to the title, Jeremy Stephens? Yeah, he just got served by a dude who wasn't even ranked. Let's not forget CM Punk waltzing into the UFC and debuting on the 2nd biggest card of 2016 with one of the highest paydays ever. Sure, two wrongs don't make a right, but if ol' Lobov doesn't deserve to be in the UFC, then a lot of people don't that are already there.
Basically, the number one argument against Lobov being in the UFC is that he's just there because of Conor McGregor. However, who doesn't break into the industry without a co-sign? Every Kanye needs a Jay Z. Cody Garbrandt, the current UFC bantamweight champion, just had three pro fights before joining Team Alpha Male. Two fights later under Urijah Faber's tutelage, Garbrandt was off to the big leagues. The Russian Hammer had an entire career before Garbrandt even got his start.
The Ultimate Fighter
Does everyone forget that #ArtemLobov knocked out three fighters straight in a show that was created for the sole purpose of making it into the UFC? Sure, he didn't win the tournament, but neither did David Teymur. After his hiccup loss against Ryan Hall at The Ultimate Fighter finale, Lobov bounced back with wins over Chris Avila (only in the UFC because of Nate Diaz) and Teruto Ishihara.
If you're not already angry at this logic, Ishihara would have been on a four-fight win streak before losing to Lobov if not for his draw against Mizuto Hirota. Hirota is a former DEEP Lightweight Championship. That means Artem Lobov is basically as good as a champion via MMA Math.