Former UFC Fighter Takes Credit For Proper 12 Whiskey Idea

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UFC superstar Conor McGregor‘s longtime SBG Ireland teammate, Artem Lobov, claims he’s the one who inspired McGregor’s Proper 12 whiskey business.

Lobov is set to release a book regarding his life and career, including his relationship with McGregor. The two had been virtually inseparable while they were both competing, as evidenced by McGregor’s bus attack in New York that was allegedly prompted by Khabib Nurmagomedov confronting Lobov.

Lobov lost three straight before leaving the UFC but managed to pick up wins over Chris Avila and Teruto Ishihara in the Octagon. He went on to fight in Bare Knuckle FC and earn victories over McGregor’s one-time boxing sparring partner, Paulie Malignaggi, as well as Jason Knight before announcing his retirement last year.

Lobov has been by McGregor’s side throughout the highs and lows of his career, and he recently claimed that he played a major role in one of McGregor’s most profitable assets.

Artem Lobov Takes Credit For Inspiring Proper 12

Artem Lobov
Artem Lobov (Image Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

During a recent interview with talkSPORT, Lobov revealed how the beginnings of Proper 12 came to fruition.

“The selling point of my book will be the Proper 12 whiskey story. A few people know, but this was actually my idea. I was the person who came up with the idea to do a whiskey for Conor,” Lobov revealed. (h/t BJ Penn)

Lobov and McGregor have been good friends and teammates throughout their respective combat sports careers. When McGregor considered getting into the alcohol business, Lobov was happy to use his prior knowledge to help set him up for success.

“Lucky for me, when I was studying in college, I used to work in the bar at the Radisson Hotel and I had a friend who worked in the bar with me,” Lobov said. “We were just two 18-year-old kids. I obviously, left and did my own thing but Ivan stayed working in hospitality and worked his way up to be the general manager of a hotel. He put me in touch with a man called Niall of Classic Drinks, a top drink distribution company in Ireland. Niall was kind enough to meet me, at the Radisson actually, and he was very generous with his information. Once I got that information, I went on and met all different whiskey distilleries. I called some and met some in person. I did my research and put a beautiful deal together.

“Once the deal was ready, I went to Conor and I said, ‘Conor, I have the deal ready for you. This is going to be a billion-dollar deal, no messing here.’ I’m not sure if he took me seriously or not at the time with the billion dollars,” Lobov said. “I introduced Audie [Attar] and the rest of the Paradigm [Sports Management] team to my deal and all the people I was already working with and then we got going. We continued working on it and as you can see it was a massive success. I’m really happy to see that and I’m really happy to be a part of it.”

Lobov also admitted that he opted not to take any money from McGregor for the deal. Proper 12 has blossomed into a multi-million-dollar business and recently sold for over $250 million.

An exact release date hasn’t been tabbed for Lobov’s book, but it could be available as soon as the end of 2022. Readers can expect much more to be revealed about Lobov and McGregor’s history together upon the book’s publishing.

What is your reaction to Artem Lobov’s comments?

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