Lobov, once a top-ranked featherweight and lightweight in Poland as he made his ascent on the European scene, spent a lot of time around Fili during his time on The Ultimate Fighter.
Fili, who was a coach for Team Faber on TUF 22, acknowledged that he knows Lobov better than some of his previous opponents, but didnt note any specific advantages that it gives him ahead of their meeting.
Ive been around him a lot more than other guys that I get picked to fight, Fili told MMA Fighting.
There is no bad blood, though. Theres no disrespect. I dont feel any negative emotion towards him as a person. Hes alright.
Hes tough, he puts on exciting fights and hes got a good chin all these things make for an exciting fight. Im just excited to get in there to let my hands go and get this win.
Lobov polarizes opinion on the MMA landscape.
Some believe The Russian Hammer has earned his spot in the Octagon since making his promotional debut against Ryan Hall in December 2015. Others think his UFC status is completely reliant on his good friend and training partner, Conor McGregor.
As far as Fili is concerned, the people who think Lobov does not deserve to be in the UFC are people who dont have the first clue about fighting.
He doesnt have the best record, but hes fought some of the best guys in the world, Fili explained.
I think most of the people who talk about him not deserving to be in the UFC are guys who have never been in a cage and have fought for a living.
This is no disrespect to fans, but its hard for me to take things into consideration when the people that are saying he doesnt deserve to be in there have never fought before.
Most people wouldnt get locked in a cage with a guy that wants to hurt them, knowing that their only option is to hurt him first. People can go live their whole lives avoiding a situation like that.
For me, if youve never been in a situation like that, you have no right to tell someone whether a fighter is deserving of it or not when its what they do for a living every day.
Fili knows firsthand how fickle some fans can be when it comes to their interactions with fighters on social media.
Ive had people personally tell me to quit fighting, theyve told me Im a bum and theyve told me that I should go kill myself when Ive lost a fight. Then Ive won my next fight and the same fan is tweeting me about how good of a job I did, he remembered.
Theyll try to say a load of horrible sh*t to you and then theyll turn around and try to tell you how great you are. Its crazy, man.
Fighting brings out the best and worst in people. I feel it brings the best out of the people that actually fight and it can bring the worst out in some people who watch the fights.
The Internet is a f**kin crazy place.
The majority of fans believe that Fili vs. Lobov will be a guaranteed contender for Fight of the Night honors. Fili tends to agree.
I always want the finish, Fili said. Ive had fights that have gone to decision and finishing isnt the most important thing, but I really like to put an exclamation point on a fight.
I love entertaining people. I love pulling off a finish where people can go, one minute into the fight he caught with a head kick, I love having that kind of finality to a fight.
Im just excited to put on a show. Im really looking for a highlight reel win and to give the fans something they can stand up and cheer for.
I love going to a place where you arent from and then after your fight everybody wants to take a picture with you and theyre just going crazy because youve put on an amazing fist fight.
Thats a great feeling.