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Artem Lobov believes two straight knockouts will establish him as a legit UFC headliner

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UFC 202 Photos Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Artem Lobov isn’t concerned with his preliminary card billing against Andre Fili on Saturday night in Gdansk.

In fact, “The Russian Hammer” is confident that he’s just two finishes away from establishing himself a regular main event draw for the UFC.

“I don’t care. It makes no difference to me where I fight on the card. The only thing that’s different is that I’ll have to fight a little earlier on,” Lobov told MMA Fighting.

“I personally feel that I’m two knockouts away from becoming a legitimate main event guy. Maybe not for pay-per-view, but for a smaller card.

“If I can get knockouts or any kind of finish in the next two fights I will be a legitimate main event guy, that’s how I see it.”

Despite cultivating a reputation for his knockout power on his ascent on the European scene and underlining the asset with three stoppages on route to the TUF 22 Finale, the SBG featherweight has yet to finish an opponent since signing with the UFC.

“At the end of the day, you have to get finishes. If you want to be successful in this industry that’s what you need. This is what I’m looking for. I’ve made some adjustments and hopefully I’ll be able to get it against Fili,” Lobov said.

Although Lobov says there is nothing personal between him and Fili ahead of their meeting, he believes the Team Alpha Male fighter’s style will provide him plenty of finishing opportunities in Gdansk.

“I think there are a lot of openings with him,” he said.

“He strikes a lot and he switches stances. He has flashy attacks but that leaves him quite open and I’ve seen him get a hit a good bit. I definitely fancy my chances against him.

“I think our styles will make for a very exciting matchup and I’m confident I can get the job done.”

Lobov also highlighted why he thinks Fili’s team have not prepared for him in adequate fashion.

After hearing a podcast where one of Fili’s coaches pointed to his size as the biggest factor in his victory over another Team Alpha Male fighter, Teruto Ishihara, Lobov thinks they don’t understand his style.

“I feel like after he loses, they all look for a fight that they think he can win, but I feel they have made a mistake with me,” Lobov said.

“I recently read an interview with one of the coaches after my win over Ishihara. They put that win down to my size. They were literally saying, ‘Artem cuts so much weight’ and other things like, ‘he’s like a welterweight fighting at featherweight.’

“Based on those excuses, they clearly don’t understand what I do in there. They didn’t break me down properly.

“Size had nothing to do with that fight – I out struck him. He couldn’t do anything. He wasn’t able to do anything to me. How did size play as a factor in that fight? I doesn’t make any sense.

“They’ve made a mistake and now I’m going to hand the team another loss.”