UFC 223 main event is a highly anticipated clash between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov, and they are scheduled to fight for the undisputed UFC Lightweight Championship on April 7 at the Barclays Center.
This lightweight title fight is taking place despite the fact that Conor McGregor is still the UFC Lightweight Champion. What is more interesting is that Artem Lobov, McGregor's training partner, is scheduled to fight against Alex Caceres on the same night on the same card.
Lobov believes he has been booked on the same card as Ferguson vs. Khabib in order to ensure that McGregor would be at ringside for the event and witness the UFC Lightweight title fight.
Lobov told Peter Carroll of MMA Fighting in a recent interview: “I’d say they definitely might have thought about it. It probably did (factor into the decision), and why not?
“They flew Conor out to see Aldo’s fight in Brazil before when he was defending his belt against Chad Mendes, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we see history repeating itself in Brooklyn. I guess they did kind of think about that.”
McGregor has a history of being at Lobov's fights, as he was in attendance for The Russian Hammer's featherweight fight against Andre Fili at UFC Gdansk in Poland. The Irishman was cautioned by referee Marc Goddard on that night for circling the cage to give his teammate advice.
The UFC could be looking to bait Notorious into an altercation with the winner of Ferguson vs. Khabib, but Lobov has said that his primary focus is on his own fight, and not on why he has been booked for this specific event. He wants to beat Caceres in order to snap a two-fight losing streak.
“I’m not too concerned about why they booked me, if I’m honest. I need to fight and I need to win. That’s my main focus now. Whether it’s in the UFC or elsewhere, you need to be winning in this sport.”
We'll have to wait until April 7 to see if McGregor is in attendance at UFC 223 to watch his teammate in Lobov fight, as it very well could lead to an altercation with the winner of Ferguson vs. Khabib later on in the evening.
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