Retired MMA fighter Artem Lobov is on the hook for legal fees attached to his failed attempt to force Conor McGregor to take down allegedly defamatory posts on social media.
According to several reports out of Ireland, Lobov was ordered to pay the court costs after a judge previously denied an injunction to prohibit his former friend and teammate from making any further posts about him. McGregor previously posted several scathing messages on Twitter.
McGregor is involved in another lawsuit against Lobov over Proper No. 12 whiskey that he said he helped to create alongside the Irish star. McGregor sold his controlling stake in whiskey to Proximo Spirits, the same business that created Jose Cuervo Tequila. This was for an $600million price tag.
Lobov then filed a second lawsuit aimed at McGregor for defamation after he claimed the former two-division UFC champion subjected him to harassment and intimidation through several posts on Twitter. McGregor called Lobov “rat”, later calling him an “uncooked sausage” in a series of tweets, while challenging McGregor to a fight to resolve their differences.
A judge rejected Lobov’s request for an injunction against McGregor. He also stated that being called “a rat” doesn’t automatically make a statement defamatory. Mr. Justice Garrett Simons called Lobov’s attempt to silence McGregor on social media as “draconian” and stated that it had the potential to stifle “freedom of expression.”
Despite the setback for Lobov, he will still be able to move forward with his overall defamation lawsuit against McGregor, and the legal fees won’t have to be paid until after that case is settled. The next hearing on the lawsuit is scheduled for March.