Conor McGregor’s former training partner Artem Lobov filed a multimillion dollar lawsuit on Tuesday, alleging he is entitled to a percentage of McGregor's earnings in the sale of the Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey brand.
McGregor, Paradigm CEO Audie Attar and businessman Ken Austin sold their majority stakes to Proximo Sports, the company that owns tequila brand Jose Cuervo, for $600 million in April 2021.
Lobov alleges that he is entitled to 5% of that sale, according to the Irish Independent.
“My client is a retired professional fighter with a master’s degree from DCU in Finance and Capital Markets,” Dermot McNamara, Lobov’s solicitor said. “We have issued High Court proceedings on his behalf to enforce an agreement with Mr. McGregor regarding the Proper No. 12 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 and Lobov were once friends and training partners at Team SBG Ireland, with Lobov significantly involved in McGregor’s feuds with fighters Khabib Nurmagomedov and Paulie Malignaggi.
Lobov, 36, previously told TalkSport in August that Proper No. Twelve is a product of his own concept and business advice.
He alleged that he convinced McGregor to be the face of the Irish Whiskey brand instead of McGregor's reported initial interest in an Iceland Vodka brand backed by "Game of Thrones" actor Hafþór Björnsson.
The retired Russian fighter claimed that he even introduced McGregor to his now business partners, arranged the deal, and turned down a $1 million offer from his friend.
“Conor offered me $1 million but I turned it down, I didn’t accept it. You know, throughout my career whenever I have helped Conor with camps, he offered to pay me for them camps, but I never accepted money from him,” Lobov claimed.
“I said, ‘we’ve always been friends and helped each other. I never paid you for my camps so I’m not gonna accept money from you for my camps either,’” he added.
McGregor's attorneys and spokesperson Karen J Kessler denounced Lovov's allegations as “incorrect,” saying the brand was "created, developed, branded and tirelessly promoted" by the former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion.