The once close friendship between Conor McGregor and Artem Lobov appears to be a thing of the past.
According to The Irish Independent (h/t Bloody Elbow), Lobov is suing McGregor for millions, alleging that he was pivotal in developing McGregor’s Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey, that McGregor sold a majority stake in for $600 million in 2021. Lobov reportedly claims that for his efforts in creating Proper Twelve, he has an agreement that entitles him to five percent of the money McGregor made from the sale.
“My client is a retired professional fighter with a master’s degree from DCU in Finance and Capital Markets,” Lobov’s attorney, Dermot McNamara said. “We have issued High Court proceedings on his behalf to enforce an agreement with Mr McGregor regarding the Proper No. Twelve whiskey brand. My client was the initial creator and co-founder of the concept to launch an Irish whiskey brand associated with Mr. McGregor. As these matters are now before the court, we will not be making any further comment.”
In response, McGregor’s representatives refuted the claims as incorrect.
“Proper No. 12 Irish Whiskey was created, developed, branded and tirelessly promoted by Conor McGregor,” Karen J Kessler said.
McGregor and Lobov were once fast friends and training partners at Team SBG Ireland, with Lobov playing a central role in McGregor’s feuds with Khabib Nurmagomedov and Paulie Malignaggi. But that friendship appears to have faded as in August, Lobov claimed to have been the one who came up with the idea for Proper 12, when McGregor was considering getting into vodka with Hafþór Björnsson, the professional strongman. Lobov claims he told McGregor to do whisky instead and even did the legwork early on to get things rolling.
“I was the person who came up with the idea to do a whiskey for Conor,” Lobov said.
“I said to him before you even look any further (about Vodka), ‘here’s what I know about Irish whiskey.’ I told him about my presentation from college. I told him about the dominance of Irish whiskey and all of that. He said, ‘you go off and see what deal you can put together’ and I went on my way.
“I went on and met all different whiskey distilleries. I called some and met some in person. I did my research and put a beautiful deal together. Once the deal was ready, I went to Conor and I said, ‘Conor, I have the deal ready for you. This is going to be a billion-dollar deal, no messing here.’ I’m not sure if he took me seriously or not at the time with the billion dollars.
“Conor offered me $1M but I turned it down, I didn’t accept it. You know, throughout my career whenever I have helped Conor with camps, he offered to pay me for them camps, but I never accepted money from him.”
With substantially more than $1 million at stake, Lobov appears to have changed his mind.
The 36-year-old Lobov retired from combat sports in 2021, following a bareknuckle boxing loss to Olympic silver medalist Denys Berichyk. His overall MMA record stands at 13-15-1, 1 NC, and his bareknuckle record stands at 2-2.
Wrestling. Cain Velasquez granted permission to participate in pro wrestling match in Arizona under conditions from the court.
Contract. Paulo Costa wants new contract before accepting Robert Whittaker at UFC 284: ‘I have bills to pay’.
Concussion. Vanessa Demopoulos: Concussion from pole dancing worse than any MMA injury.
USADA. Jiri Prochazka admits constant USADA visits are ‘a little bit annoying’.
PFL Championship Fight Week Episode 4.
Francis Ngannou’s road to recovery.
Jan Blachowicz plays in a celebrity basketball game.
Man, Pride was the best.
Fighter vs. Writer. MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin chats with Matt Brown and Kenny Florian.
Heck of a Morning. MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck discusses Khamzat Chimaev challenging Alex Pereira, James Krause, and more.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
The feud nobody expected.
See you around “baddy”. pic.twitter.com/vm4BG82TMg
— Maxwell Jacob Friedman™️ (@The_MJF) November 22, 2022
Paddy “the Baddy” is tryin to fight a wrestler from AEW but won’t acknowledge the hundreds of people who have asked him about fighting me lol
— Terrance ‘T Wrecks’ McKinney (@twrecks155) November 22, 2022
Dagestani wrestballers, beware!
Kazakhstan based Naiza MMA is stepping on your toes with BatyrBall where backboards are shattered Shaquille O’Neal style pic.twitter.com/GJbIfA0VB6
— Red Corner MMA (@RedCorner_MMA) November 22, 2022
Don’t miss the biggest knockout of the holiday szn. Watch @DavidKHarbour and I breakdown the top 3 reasons @ufc fans need to see #ViolentNight in theaters December 2. #UniversalPartner #ad #Sponsored #PaidPartnership @universalpictures pic.twitter.com/ycOLil5vaF
— KAMARU USMAN (@USMAN84kg) November 22, 2022
March sounds great for the start of #StrapSeason
Ngannou, Jones, Blaydes, I don’t care : it’s anytime, anyone, anywhere. pic.twitter.com/FBn3vqbYwX
— Ciryl Gane (@ciryl_gane) November 22, 2022
It’s never going to happen.
— CrisCyborg.Com (@criscyborg) November 22, 2022
Henry made me wait 2.5 years to fight him when he defended the title. He asked for the biggest fight and the UFC gave it to. I’m sure he can wait 1-2 more months for me to fight https://t.co/KejgYq9GA5
— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) November 22, 2022
No issue here. He’s getting spanked. But tubby needs to wait until I’m fully healed up from my last 2 camps. April, May, June. Never ducked a single opponent in my life, not gonna Sir Cringe-a-lot https://t.co/XjvoC0hOEU
— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) November 22, 2022
UFC Vegas 66 poster.
Ready to close out 2022 with Jared Cannonier vs Sean Strickland
— UFC (@ufc) November 22, 2022
Adesanya getting hot.
— First We Feast (@firstwefeast) November 22, 2022
The man can’t be stopped.
Jack Hermansson (23-7) vs. Roman Dolidze (11-1); UFC Orlando, Dec. 3.
Drew Dober (25-11) vs. Bobby Green (29-13-1); UFC Vegas 66, Dec. 17
Gilbert Burns (20-5) vs. Neil Magny (27-9); UFC 283, Jan. 21.
William Knight (11-4) vs. Marcin Prachnio (15-6); UFC Fight Night, Feb. 18
Yaroslav Amosov (26-0) vs. Logan Storley (14-1); Bellator 291, Feb. 25
Pedro Carvalho (13-6) vs. Jeremy Kennedy (18-3); Bellator 291, Feb. 25
Sinead Kavanagh (8-5) vs. Janay Harding (6-6); Bellator 291, Feb. 25
Oliver Enkamp (11-3) vs. Luca Poclit (8-1); Bellator 291, Feb. 25
Karl Moore (10-2) vs. Maciej Różański (14-3); Bellator 291, Feb. 25
Piotr Niedzielski (17-4) vs. Richie Smullen (9-2-1); Bellator 291, Feb. 25
Charlie Ward (10-5) vs. Mike Shipman (14-4); Bellator 291, Feb. 25
Elina Kallionidou (9-4) vs. Jena Bishop (4-0); Bellator 291, Feb. 25
Maycee Barber (11-2) vs. Andrea Lee (13-6); UFC Fight Night, March 25.
No Morning Report tomorrow due to the holiday but we’ll see you on Friday.
Thanks for reading!