Conor McGregor is being sued for millions of dollars by a former close friend
| Last updated
Conor McGregor is facing a multi-million-dllar lawsuit from former close friend and training partner Artem Lobov.
The ex-Russian UFC star is suing the Irishman over a dispute stemming from the sale of McGregor’s Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey, according to a report from The Irish Independent.
Lobov has initiated a High Court action claiming he was instrumental in helping create the whiskey brand.
He believes he is entitled to five per cent of the money the former UFC double champ made from the sale of the whiskey business.
McGregor, Paradigm CEO Audie Attar and businessman Ken Austin reportedly sold their majority stakes in the company to Proximo Sports for $600 million (A$891m) in April 2021.
The MMA icon is said to have made $150 million (A$222m) from the sale.
Lobov’s solicitor, Dermot McNamara told the Irish Independent: “My client is a retired professional fighter with a master’s degree from DCU in Finance and Capital Markets.
“We have issued High Court proceedings on his behalf to enforce an agreement with Mr McGregor regarding the Proper No. Twelve whiskey brand.”
“My client was the initial creator and co-founder of the concept to launch an Irish whiskey brand associated with Mr. McGregor.
“As these matters are now before the court, we will not be making any further comment.”
McGregor’s representative Karen J Kessler issued a statement, via Bloody Elbow, refuting the claims.
They said: “Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey was created, developed, branded and tirelessly promoted by Conor McGregor.”
Lobov and McGregor were once close friends and training partners at Team SBG Ireland.
The Russian was heavily involved in McGregor’s feuds with Khabib Nurmagomedov and Paulie Malignaggi.
Back in August, Lobov claimed he was the brains behind the brand and even went on to set up the business deals for McGregor.
He told TalkSport: “I said to him before you even look any further (about Vodka), ‘here’s what I know about Irish whiskey.’ I told him about my presentation from college.
“I told him about the dominance of Irish whiskey and all of that. He said, ‘you go off and see what deal you can put together’ and I went on my way.
“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 claims McGregor offered him $1 million but he turned it down, and he never accepted any money from his former training partner.
SPORTbible reached out to Conor McGregor and Paradigm Sports for comment.