Artem Lobov granted release from UFC

Artem Lobov's UFC run has come to an end.

Lobov told ESPN on Tuesday that he was granted his release from the promotion after recently requesting it. He said the UFC wanted to add him to a yet-to-be announced fight card in April; however, Lobov didn't want to wait that long and asked to be released from his contract.

Lobov, who competed in the featherweight division, had three fights left on his UFC contract. He leaves the promotion with a 2-5 record inside the Octagon.

Lobov, who hails from Russia but now fights out of Ireland, is best known for being Conor McGregor's longtime teammate and sparring partner. Lobov has developed a cult-like following despite his 13-15-1 (1 no contest) record. He leaves the UFC on a three-fight losing streak, most recently dropping a unanimous decision to Michael Johnson in October. He has also developed a reputation for fighting anyone, anytime, which turned him into a fan favorite.

Lobov's run-in with Khabib Nurmagomedov days before UFC 223 last April led to an incident at Brooklyn's Barclays Center, in which McGregor and his friends attacked a bus that was transporting Nurmagomedov and other fighters from the arena to a nearby hotel.

As a result, Lobov was scheduled to fight Zubaira Tukhugov, Nurmagomedov's teammate, late last year, though the fight was canceled after the Oct. 6 postfight brawl that followed Nurmagomedov's win over McGregor at UFC 229.

On Tuesday, the Nevada Athletic Commission suspended Tukhugov for a year for his part in the brawl at T-Mobile Arena, so that grudge match will have to wait for now.

Lobov, 32, told ESPN he is looking to secure MMA, boxing and kickboxing contracts, though he hasn't signed with anyone just yet.