Paulie Malignaggi’s brief tenure as a sparring partner for Conor McGregor could best be described as tumultuous, and the events that led to him exiting the Irishman’s camp have resulted in some bad blood between the two men.
The biggest point of contention between the fighters was an alleged knockdown by McGregor, who posted a photo on social media of him standing over a fallen Malignaggi during a sparring session. Malignaggi claimed that it was a push, not a knockdown, that sent him to the canvas. Later, UFC President Dana White released video footage of the moment in question, but Malignaggi continued to maintain that it was a push that caused him to fall.
Regardless, the incident left a bad taste in the former boxing champion’s mouth, and earlier this week he expressed interest in fighting McGregor during an appearance on "The MMA Hour.”
“He constantly puts me in the press with these edited videos, edited pictures and whatnot. Now, it’s picked up a ton of momentum,” Malignaggi said. “So yeah. So now the bad blood is there. Now, we’ve gotta fight.”
McGregor is currently preparing to face Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Aug. 26. When Malignaggi’s challenge was mentioned during a media call on Wednesday, McGregor was relatively dismissive of his former sparring partner as a future opponent.
“Tell the kid to join the queue. Tell him to shut his mouth and join the queue,” McGregor said. “He got his ass whipped and he went sprinting. I don’t know what to say about the guy. But hey, there’s a big list of people that want to fight me, so tell him to get in there and join the queue, and we’ll see what happens after the fight.”
While McGregor’s next move after the Mayweather fight remains unclear, both he and White have said the the plan is for the Irishman to return to the Octagon at some point. However, a lot depends on how he fares against Mayweather.
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