If Conor McGregor wants to attend this weekend’s bare-knuckle boxing fight between Paulie Malignaggi and Artem Lobov, Bare-Knuckle FC president David Feldman welcomes the Irishman.
Speaking to MMA Fighting, Feldman said he doesn’t know for sure if the UFC star will be appearing, but based off what he has heard so far, he’d bet that “The Notorious” will be there:
“They won’t give confirmation yet but if I’m a betting man, I’m betting he’s coming,” Feldman said. “They’re not going to give confirmation and if they are, they’re not going to tell us so we put it out there ‘hey Conor McGregor’s coming to the fight’ and then he’s mobbed.
“So it’s not going to happen like that but from the conversations I’m having, if I was going to bet on it, he’ll be there but who knows.”
The bad blood between Malignaggi and the McGregor camp is very real. Malignaggi, a former boxing world champion, joined McGregor’s training camp as a sparring partner ahead of his boxing bout with Floyd Mayweather in 2017. However, McGregor leaked footage and images of his sparring session with Malignaggi that favored the Irishman.
Perhaps the tipping point was the footage that showed what looked like McGregor knocking Malignaggi down. Malignaggi claims he fell as a result of a trip. The former world champion has held a grudge over the incident ever since. He has found his way into a bare-knuckle boxing fight against McGregor’s good friend and training partner, Lobov.
Malignaggi has vowed to hospitalize “The Russian Hammer” and put him in a coma. “The Magic Man” is likely angling for a future showdown with “The Notorious One” himself down the line. Feldman understands the bad blood between these two sides runs very deep, which is why security will be beefed up come this weekend for the press conference and weigh-ins:
“We’re going to have ample security at the press conference and the weigh-ins,” Feldman said. “They’re staying at different hotels so that’s not going to be an issue but definitely as the press conference and weigh-in where we know they will see each other.
“I don’t think if they see each other, they’re going to just jump in but when they get in each other’s face and they’re that close and then they start talking, that’s when the problems arise. So we’re definitely going to have ample security, more than ample security and I don’t see anything arising. I don’t think either of them want to blow the opportunity for this event and they don’t want to blow their pay either.”