Artem Lobov wanted Zubaira Tukhugov, but he’ll have to settle for Ultimate Fighter veteran Michael Johnson.
With Tukhugov currently under investigation by the Nevada Athletic Commission in regards to his involvement in the UFC 229 post-main event melee, he was removed from his scheduled bout with Lobov at UFC Moncton and replaced by Johnson. Officials announced the new matchup Wednesday, following an initial report by ESPN.
Lobov vs. Johnson will serve as the co-main event for UFC Moncton, which will be headlined by a light heavyweight bout between Volkan Oezdemir and Anthony Smith.
It has been over a year since Lobov (13-14-1, 1 NC) last fought. In October 2017, he faced Andre Fili at UFC Gdansk and lost a unanimous decision. Since finishing as the lightweight runner-up on The Ultimate Fighter 22, Lobov has gone 2-3 in the UFC competing at 145 pounds.
Lobov and Tukhugov are closely associated with the Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov camps. Tukhugov is alleged to have attacked McGregor inside the cage following McGregor’s submission loss to Nurmagomedov, and Nurmagomedov’s subsequent charge to the outside to confront McGregor teammate Dillon Danis that ignited the post-fight conflict on the evening of Oct. 6.
Johnson, also a former TUF cast member, has struggled in his his past few fights after emerging as a top-10 contender at lightweight with a resume that includes wins over Dustin Poirier, Edson Barboza, Joe Lauzon, and Tony Ferguson. After dropping five of his last seven, Johnson made the move down to 145 pounds where he is 1-1 in so far. His pro record sits at 18-13.
In his last outing in August, Johnson defeated Fili by split decision.
UFC Fight Night 138 takes place on at the Moncton Events Centre in Moncton, New Brunswick, on Oct. 27.