Was there a more hated fighter than Artem Lobov going into a fight, other than Daniel Cormier? The internet spent weeks tearing down Conor McGregor's protege, for basically just, well, being Conor McGregor's protege. Any other reason why he "didn't belong in the UFC" just didn't make sense when you really broke it down. After Lobov's performance last night though, arm-chair experts may be forced to eat crow. While Artem Lobov lost at UFC Nashville, he endured all of Cub Swanson's violent tricks and made him pay for it.
A fighter that doesn't deserve to set foot in the Octagon, doesn't take the 4th-ranked featherweight in the world to a decision. A fighter that shouldn't be in the UFC, definitely doesn't hit Swanson more times than the former lightweight champion, Frankie Edgar. Of course, Edgar was able to get the win with less strikes and hittable Lobov lost the decision. Was this all just a guy rising to the occasion? Perhaps the expectation was so low, that his performance seemed way better than it was?
The narrative can be morphed many different ways, but facts are that #ArtemLobov consistently punched the hell out of a guy he had no business fighting in the first place. A loss isn't something McGregor will rip his taut pants over to celebrate, but these numbers and the respect Lobov earned from the veteran #CubSwanson may be just as good as a win.