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Artem Lobov: Conor McGregor had ‘plans in place’ to prepare for Frankie Edgar at UFC 222

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Artem Lobov believes that Conor McGregor was “very, very close” to stepping in on short notice to face Frankie Edgar at UFC 222.

Last week, McGregor claimed that he had tried to step in to take injured featherweight champion Max Holloway’s place in the main event in an Instagram post following Dana White’s suggestion that he may never fight again.

Replying to McGregor’s comments, Edgar’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, tweeted that McGregor asked for the bout to be contested for a new 165-pound title.

According to Lobov, Team McGregor was “ready to go.”

“(It was) very close (to happening)…very, very close,” Lobov told Ariel Helwani on the latest episode of The MMA Hour. “It was real, 100 percent. Conor was ready to go, we were gathering the troops already, we were ready to go.”

Lobov revealed that the Irishman had already put plans in place to prepare for the fight.

“We were planning what we were going to do; we were just going to fly out to Vegas straightaway to do a short little camp. Plans were in place and everything — everything was ready to go,” he explained.

“Conor wanted to fight. I was talking to him the whole time and he was ready to go and show the world what he can do.”

Lobov echoed McGregor’s claims that the UFC stopped the fight from happening because there would not be enough time to promote the event adequately.

“To the best of my knowledge, UFC weren’t really all for it because it was really short notice and it wouldn’t give enough time to build the fight. From what I heard, that was the main reason for it,” he said.