UFC veteran Artem Lobov says he is the brains behind the idea of Proper Twelve Whiskey. In his recent interview with TalkSport“The Russian Hammer,” who is apparently writing a book, spoke about how it all happened.
“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,” he said.
According to Lobov, the nudge came from Game of Thrones actor Hafþór Björnsson (aka The Mountain). And with a finance degree to back him up, he started to do some thinking.
“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,” Lobov recalled.
“He said, he was doing one in Iceland and now he’s offering me the chance to do one as well. It looks like a pretty good deal what do you think about that?’”
As a finance major, Lobov got to know about the history of Irish whiskey. It was then he thought of making a pitch to his close teammate.
“I said to him before you even look any further, ‘here’s what I know about Irish whiskey.’ I told him about my presentation from college,” Lobov explained. “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.”
Lobov then gathered his connections, got to work, and was able to strike up a deal. As we all know, what turned out to be Proper Twelve whiskey blew up along with Conor McGregor’s star power. And from that success, “The Notorious” supposedly offered $1M to Lobov, which the latter said he turned down.
“Conor offered me $1M but I turned it down, I didn’t accept it,” he said. “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.
“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.’”
In early 2021, McGregor sold his Proper Twelve shares to the owners of famed tequila brand Jose Cuervo for a reported value of $600 million, ultimately boosting his net worth further.