UFC Nashville’s Luis Pena ‘a little bit disappointed’ Artem Lobov got away

NASHVILLE – Luis Pena soon will be an official UFC featherweight. And the man he called to greet him at 145 pounds is officially no longer part of the roster.

Pena sought to go 2-0 for his team at American Kickboxing Academy when he called out Artem Lobov. But Lobov had other plans in mind. Lobov, who’s teammates with Conor McGregor, got his release from the UFC and subsequently signed with Bare Knuckle FC.

“I wasn’t living or dying off getting that matchup,” Pena, who meets Steven Peterson at UFC on ESPN+ 6, told MMA Junkie on Wednesday. “But I’m not going to lie: I was a little bit disappointed, bacause it seemed like an easy win.

“Nothing against Artem, but I just feel like the way we match up, it would have been a great fight for the fans and a great matchup for me. I hope he does well in bare-knuckle. I enjoy watching that; it’s pretty fun. I think his style will do well for that.”

Pena figured Lobov would never get to fight Zubaira Tukhugov, who was scratched from UFC Fight Night 138 for his participation in the infamous brawl at UFC 229.

“I just wanted to get that back for AKA,” Pena said.

With Peterson on his radar, Pena is ready to move forward with his career at featherweight. He insists the move south hasn’t been as difficult as it might appear to be. Prior to losing a split decision against Michael Trizano in his octagon follow-up, Pena said he weighed in with another lightweight on the card and realized he was in the wrong place.

“Not calling him out, but Davi Ramos, who fought John Gunther, he weighed in at 183 at the arena, and I was 163,” Pena said. “I’ve never even seen 180 on the scale before. I saw that, and I was like, ‘Yeah, 145 is the right weight class for me.'”

Pena might never get the chance to face Lobov. But there’s no question he’s in the right place.

To hear more from Pena, watch our one-on-one interview in the video above.

For more on UFC on ESPN+ 6, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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