It looks as if the beef between UFC superstar Conor McGregor and boxing great Paulie Malignaggi isn’t going away anytime soon.
The bad blood between McGregor and Malignaggi started when Malignaggi agreed to spar with McGregor in Las Vegas in preparation for his boxing match against Floyd Mayweather on Aug. 26, 2017.
The two got into a heated exchange on Aug. 22, 2017, where the two exchanged words, though they were broken up by security rather quickly.
During the sparring session, Malignaggi ended up going 12 rounds with McGregor and the UFC star ended up knocking him down.
To Malignaggi’s dismay, UFC President and McGregor’s boxing promoter Dana White released a video as well as photos of McGregor knocking Malignaggi down on the mat during the session.
Of course, Malignaggi is upset that White released the video and photos and claims that it’s been edited to look like McGregor got the best of him. He claims that he wasn’t in shape to go 12 rounds and that McGregor knocked him down towards the end of the session.
With White leaking the photos and videos, Malignaggi decided to stop sparring with McGregor and left his camp in Las Vegas.
Since then, Malignaggi has done multiple interviews with the media while also calling out McGregor. Last week Malignaggi called McGregor “one of the biggest scumbags I’ve ever met” while appearing on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani.
McGregor couldn’t help himself and just had to fire back at Malignaggi by claiming that their sparring sessions creating some head trauma for Malignaggi and it’s just “concussion talk.”
Without any surprise at all things didn’t change when Malignaggi was once again a guest on The MMA Hour.
“This weirdo didn’t do either of these things,” Malignaggi said, via MMAFighting.com. “He constantly puts me in the press with these edited videos, edited pictures and whatnot. Now, it’s picked up a ton of momentum. So yeah. So now the bad blood is there. Now, we’ve gotta fight.”
Malignaggi says the video that McGregor’s team released has become a joke.
“It became like a running joke in boxing,” Malignaggi said. “They had to kind of cover it up in some way, shape or form. So nice job. Nice edit — it was a nice, Hollywood edit. I thought it was adorable, I thought it was cute. But at the end of the day, every day you start to see holes in this little story.”
The problem for McGregor is that no one wants to spar with him now that he tried to make Malignaggi look like a fool.
“How are you gonna prepare to fight Floyd Mayweather without your sparring?” Malignaggi said. “He doesn’t want to look like the running joke of boxing, but he’s making himself the running joke of boxing without even trying. If he stopped trying so hard and being ‘The Little Engine That Could’ and just trained and did his thing, none of this soap opera would even be up. Have you heard anything from Floyd Mayweather’s camp?
“I like the guy. He’s adorable. He’s cute. He’s trying so hard to tell people he’s gonna win this fight and legitimize himself. He’s trying to prove so hard he’s a puncher, because all these MMA fans tell me he’s a big puncher. You can tell he believes it.”
It has been widely reported that the McGregor-Mayweather fight that’s scheduled for this Saturday night hasn’t sold a number of tickets that they were hoping and pay-per-view sales are fairly low as well.
We’ve already seen both McGregor and Mayweather agree to use smaller and lighter eight-ounce boxing gloves in hopes of hyping the fight up even further.
Mayweather has even gone as far as to say that he’ll be more aggressive, which is hard to believe because he’s one of the best defensive fighters ever.
So, we wouldn’t put it past McGregor and his team that they may have purposely put out a video in hopes of “proving” to the world that this fight between him and McGregor could end up being a formidable boxing match even though he’s fought in the UFC. This, of course, could in turn help sell more tickets and pay-per-views.
Both McGregor and Mayweather know they have to sell as many tickets and pay-per-views as they can in order for them to make the most money possible. And let’s face it, that’s all they care about.