Well, of all the main events that have been scheduled for 2017, this booking was perhaps the most peculiar. Cub Swanson, a top ten featherweight in the world, will face a man who isn’t even top fifteen and is on a recent two fight winning streak in Artem Lobov. Not trying to insult ‘The Russian Hammer’ but this is a real uphill battle for the SBG Ireland product. In fact, this is really Cub Swanson’s fight to lose.
Cub Swanson is one of the most dynamic strikers in the UFC featherweight division. He has proven to be the cream of the crop with his mix of boxing and kickboxing, as well as a strong grappling game. The biggest difference that I can see in this match certainly has to be the punching style of both men. Cub Swanson is not necessarily a textbook boxing technician, but he does utilize his jab far more frequently than Lobov. Off the jab, Swanson can either pressure forward with a follow up right hand, a left hook or kicking technique either low or high. He can also strike moving backwards, using the jab to keep his opponent off of him to blast back with a powerful right hand. As far as strategy goes, Swanson should definitely be using his jab to set up his left hook into a powerful right hand.
As said before, Artem Lobov really has his hands full with this one. While Lobov can fight from both stances which can give him a bit of an edge, he usually approaches things in the same way for each side. His lead hand is used to measure distance rather than be utilized as a legit weapon. The only time he does use his lead hand is when he throws a wide hook. Most strikes that Lobov throws are with power and conviction which can leave him open to counters. What he does to try and masks this is use a ton of feints. He’ll need to do a lot of faking here to throw off Swanson’s reads and land his powerful low kicks. He’ll want to use effective pressure and try to pin Swanson along the cage where Lobov will have the best chances of success for his powerful left or right hands.
Cub Swanson has some tremendous footwork which is likely to really throw off Lobov’s game. If Artem wants to win this he’ll have to turn this into a brawl and even then, Cub Swanson excels in that style of fight. Like I said, an uphill battle for Artem Lobov indeed.
Who do you think wins at UFC Fight Night: Cub Swanson vs Artem Lobov?