Magomedsharipov showcased a variety of skills in his featherweight clash with Mike Santiago at UFC Fight Night 115, from flashy spinning strikes to brutal and efficient ground work. Ultimately, the 26-year-old wore down a game Santiago and won via rear-naked choke at the 4:22 mark of the second frame. Magomedsharipov improved to 13-1 in his first fight since September 2016.
“This journey has been amazing. I had a big lay off, I haven’t fought in about a year so I was hungry for the fight,” he said. “I was expecting to go three rounds, just to feel the fight out but I had a chance to finish him in the second so I took it. It was perfect.”
While many fighters, particularly ones new to the promotion, subscribe to the “whoever the UFC gives me” approach when selecting opponents, Magomedsharipov was much more forward following an impressive promotional foray.
“I want to fight Artem Lobov next,” Magomedsharipov said. “He’s been talking a load of s—t in the media and he pretends to be some great fighter but he is not, so I want to prove I can beat him. I would beat him hard."
As an outspoken training partner of Conor McGregor, Lobov has proven to be a big target thus far during his UFC tenure. Despite a relatively pedestrian record, Lobov was given headlining status in his last outing, falling to Cub Swanson in an entertaining five-round decision defeat at UFC Fight Night 108 in April. At the moment, “The Russian Hammer” is booked to face Andre Fili at UFC Fight Night 118 in Poland on Oct. 21.
Shortly after Magomedsharipov’s callout, Lobov issued a response via Twitter:
Stay in shape kid, if Fili doesnt show up you can get destroyed instead! Otherwise see you in november— Artem Lobov (@RusHammerMMA) September 2, 2017