Artem Lobov sues former friend Conor McGregor for millions over Proper 12 idea

Artem Lobov made his name as Conor McGregor’s sparring partner.

The two were once inseparable but apparently a business idea created a lot of tension.

Former close friend of Conor McGregor chose to file a lawsuit to settle his business with McGregor. Lobov just sued McGregor for “stealing” the idea for  Proper No. Twelve.

Conor McGregor is known as a charismatic mixed martial artist with a huge fan base. The Irish star generated a high number of PPV buys throughout his career in a rare case of athlete’s stardom eclipsing that of UFC. Last year, Forbes listed him on the number one spot on their top 10 richest athletes. However, McGregor’s income doesn’t solely come from the cage.

The 34-year-old also has a several successful businesses.

Proper No. Twelve was launched three years ago. The brand sold the majority of the stake to Proximo Spirits and the deal was worth up to $600 million. It may not be on par with other famous brands. However, according to The Drinks Business, Proper No. Twelve is America’s fastest growing brand in its category, with 21% growth in 2021.

Artem Lobov initiated legal action in the High Court in Dublin yesterday, claiming that he was the one who pitched the idea of the brand. The former UFC featherweight contender is expected to claim an agreement in which he demands 5% of the profits from the sale.

Contacted by The Irish Independent, his solicitor Dermot McNamara said:

“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.”

Meanwhile, McGregor’s spokesperson refuted the claim saying that it’s “incorrect”.

“McGregor’s spokesperson Karen J Kessler has stated that Lobov’s claim to the whiskey brand was “incorrect”.”

This comes a year after Lobov officially retired and reports of McGregor offering to give him a million dollars for the idea first emerged.

In a new interview with talkSPORT, Lobov revealed:

“A few people know, but this was actually my idea. I was the person who came up with the idea ”

Conor McGregor asked him to research the idea and Lobov followed up:

“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 … 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 … Conor offered me $1m but I turned it down, I didn’t accept it.”