Conor McGregor exposed: Bombshell, tell-all book reveals the real creator of Proper 12 whisky

Former UFC two-division champion Conor McGregor was considering jumping into the vodka business in Iceland based on the advice (and existing success) of European strongman Hafthor Julius Bjornsson. But that didn’t make much sense to Notorious teammate Artem Lobov, who suggested McGregor stick to his roots and delve into Irish whiskey, a subject he was all too familiar with after graduating.

In fact, The Russian Hammer is planning to publish a tell-all book that will delve deeper into the making of Proper 12 Whisky, which McGregor eventually sold for $600 million.

“The selling point of my book will be the Proper 12 whiskey story. A few people know, but that was actually my idea. I was the person who came up with the idea of ​​making a whiskey for Conor,” Lobov said in an interview with talkSPORT. “After the second Diaz fight, me and Conor were at the gym and we were talking one day and he says to me, ‘Artem, Thor, – ‘The Mountain’ from ‘Game of Thrones’ – I was talking to him, and he offered it to me [the chance] to make my own vodka. He said he’s doing one in Iceland and now he’s offering me a chance to do one too. It looks like a pretty good deal, what do you think about it?’”

Russian-born Lobov lived in Dublin and trained with McGregor at SBG Ireland.

“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 continued. “I told him about the dominance of Irish whiskey and all that. He said, “Go and see what kind of deal you can do,” and I was on my way. Luckily I worked in the bar at the Radisson Hotel while I was studying and had a friend who worked with me in the bar. He put me in touch with a man named Niall from Classic Drinks, a leading drinks distributor in Ireland. Niall was kind enough to meet me, actually at the Radisson, and he was very generous with his information.”

At the time, Lobov (13-15-1, 1 NC) was competing in the UFC featherweight division.

“Once I got that information, I went ahead and met all the different whiskey distilleries,” Lobov said. “I called a few and met a few in person. I did some research and put together a nice offer. When the deal was done, I went to Conor and said, ‘Conor, I got the deal done for you. It’s gonna be a billion dollar deal, no mess here.’ I’m not sure if he took me seriously at the time with the billion dollars or not. I introduced Audie [Attar] and the rest of the paradigm [Sports Management] team to my deal and all the people I’ve already worked with and off we went. We kept working on it and as you can see it was a huge success. I’m really happy to see that and I’m really happy to be a part of it.”

Here’s the “official” story from the Proper 12 website:

Proper No. Twelve is a tribute to our founder Conor McGregor’s hometown of Crumlin, Dublin 12 and their shared spirit of brotherhood, loyalty and hard work.

Then from the Proper 12 “Our Story” page:

Our founder, Conor McGregor, and his team were looking for a place and people who share the same passion for Ireland and its whiskey. He found this in the oldest whiskey distillery on the Isle of Ireland and created a unique and special blend with his master distiller.


After much trial and error, they worked together to create a blend of sweet Irish grain and Irish single malt whiskey. The result is a smooth, balanced whiskey with hints of vanilla, honeyed sweetness and toasted wood.

Lobov claims McGregor offered him $1 million to get ‘Notorious’ down the right 12 track, but he declined as the former ‘Champ-Champion’ never took (or received) any money from Lobov during their respective battle camps . The Russian Hammer also plans to disclose its financial interest in the company once its book is finished.

A release date has yet to be determined.

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