Paulie Malignaggi is forever a name solidified in the mixed martial arts (MMA) community due to his past issues with Conor McGregor.
The pair were sparring partners for a short while before McGregor’s fight with Floyd “Money” Mayweather back in 2017. However, after McGregor leaked some sparring footage online, showing what looked like himself knocking Malignaggi down – however, Malignaggi claims it was a trip – “The Magic Man” later departed the camp.
Years later, Malignaggi still holds a bitter grudge, and hopes to one day get his hands on McGregor inside the boxing ring himself. For now, he’ll settle for a bare-knuckle boxing fight with McGregor’s good friend and training partner, Artem Lobov. The pair will fight in the main event of Bare Knuckle FC 6 on June 22.
In the press conference leading up to the event this week, Malignaggi dove further into the details behind his sparring session with “The Notorious” (via MMA Junkie):
“Because he’s such a (expletive), I’ll tell you something about Conor,” Malignaggi said.
“He probably could have stopped me 12 rounds because I don’t have the air supply to go 12 rounds in certain circumstances, but he’s got no balls at all, so any time I was able to land a shot or two, he gave me my break, and he gave me a chance to re-oxygenate, so all I had to do is potshot him and hit him with shots here and there that let me pace myself for 12 rounds.”
Malignaggi also explained how the mixed martial arts (MMA) personnel who witnessed his sparring session with McGregor raved about the match-up. However, Malignaggi claims he has been in some real “gym wars,” and his sparring session with McGregor was actually one of the lighter ones of his career:
“He says one thing, but his actions speak another thing, you know what I’m saying? When we talked about his sparring time, he said he couldn’t believe the shots I took. That’s 90 percent of the offense,” Malignaggi said.
“He said ‘that wasn’t me, great job, great sparring session.’ That was one of the best sparring sessions he ever had. Everyone at the table said that was one of the best sparring sessions they ever saw. Look, that was one of the more simple sparring sessions of my life, OK? I’ve been in gym wars.
“That was such, the fact that the MMA community thought that was a fun sparring session, I’m sure you guys have been in the gym for some of these war-like sparring sessions, where you should get charged at the door. This is not one of them. The fact they keep talking about it and presenting it like it was, shows you the limitations of these guys, and how I know that (Lobov) has no idea what’s waiting for him next month.”