Conor McGregor Sued by Friend Over Whiskey Royalties

Conor McGregor may have to pay a friend a lot of money. According to the Irish Independent (per New York Post), the UFC star is being sued by Artem Lobov, a retired fighter who was once McGregor's training partner, for unpaid proceeds from the sale of McGregor's Proper No. 12 whiskey brand. Last year, McGregor, his agent Audie Attar and third partner Ken Austin sold Proper No. 12 to Proximo Spirits, the owner of Jose Cuervo, for $600 million. 

In an interview with TalkSport, Lobov said that the whiskey brand was his idea and talked McGregor into doing Irish whiskey. "The selling point of my book will be the Proper 12 Whiskey story. A few people know, but this was actually my idea. I was the person who came up with the idea to do a whiskey for Conor," Lobov said. "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."

Lobov reportedly claims that with him creating Proper No. 12, he has an agreement that entitles him to 5% of the money McGregor made from the sale. In the TalkSport interview, Lobov said McGregor offered him $1 million, but he decided to turn him down. 

"My client is a retired professional fighter with a master's degree from DCU in Finance and Capital Markets," Lobov's attorney, Dermot McNamara said, per MMA Fighting. "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, 34, has had a successful career at UFC, winning the Featherweight Championship and the Lightweight Championship. He has a career MMA record of 22-6, and his last match came in July 2021 when he lost to Dustin Poirier at UFC 264.