Conor McGregor Sued By “Rat” Former Teammate Over Proper 12 Whiskey Sale

Conor McGregor is being tested within his camp as teammate Artem Lobov is suing him over compensation for McGregor’s Proper 12 whiskey. The lawsuit is about the Proper 12 whiskey brand that McGregor launched in 2018, which he and three shareholders sold their stake in for over $600 million three years later.

Lobov believes he deserves 5 percent of the proceeds from the sale, claiming that the whiskey brand was his idea. The fighter also claims that he turned down a flat payment of $1 million from McGregor.

“The selling point of my book will be the Proper 12 Whiskey story. A few people know, but this was actually my idea,” Lobov said to TalkSport. “After the second Diaz fight, me and Conor were in the gym and we were talking one day and he says to me, ‘Artem, Thor, – ‘The Mountain’ out of ‘Game of Thrones’ — I was chatting to him, and he’s offered me [the chance] to do my own vodka. I said to him before you even look any further, here’s what I know about Irish whiskey. 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. Conor offered me $1m but I turned it down, I didn’t accept it.”

McGregor and his team are adamant that Lobov’s recollection of events is inaccurate. The 34-year-old former UFC double champion has gone as far as calling Lobov a “rat” on social media, singing a chant that includes the words “Artem is a rat.” Additionlly, a McGregor spokesman previously urged that Lobov’s claim is meritless.

“Proper No. Twelve Irish whiskey was created, developed, branded and tirelessly promoted by Conor McGregor,” a McGregor spokesman said in a statement.

Lobov and McGregor used to be very close, as McGregor began his infamous rivalry with former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov by defending Lobov. Earlier during the New York City fight his week for UFC 223 back in 2018, headliner Khabib Nurmagomedov and his entourage cornered Lobov at the fighter’s hotel, slapping him multiple times. When McGregor heard, he flew a private jet from Ireland to NYC. He stormed the bowels of the Barclays Center, attacking a bus that held Nurmagomedov after a pres conference, throwing a handcart in the window, which shattered glass and injured many on the bus.

The fallout for McGregor was swift as he was accused of striking the bus with the dolly, shattering glass, and causing lacerations to UFC lightweight fighter Michael Chiesa. Additionally, flyweight fighter Ray Borg suffered eye injuries from the glass, and the UFC dropped both fighters’ bouts that weekend.

Now McGregor and Lobov are at odds.

“My client is a retired professional fighter with a master’s degree from DCU in Finance and Capital Markets,” said Lobov’s attorney Dermot McNamara. “We have issued High Court proceedings on his behalf to enforce an agreement with Mr. McGregor regarding the Proper No. Twelve whiskey brand. As these matters are now before the court, we will not be making any further comment.”

Whether “Mystic Mac” saw the ire of his former teammate coming over his financial success from the Proper 12 whiskey brand is unknown, but he now knows the adage “more money more problems” is as accurate as his jab.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.