Conor McGregor Ready To Fight Pauli Malignaggi In The UFC
UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor made combat sports history when he stepped into the boxing ring with Floyd Mayweather Jr. this past August. The event was a massive success and generated hundreds of millions of dollars for everyone involved, including Mayweather and McGregor. It was almost a guaranteed success given the two personalities involved, but McGregor rivalry with former boxing world champ Pauli Malignaggi seemed to overshadow the fight itself.
Malignaggi was part of the training camp and took exception to footage from their sparring sessions that McGregor’s team released on social media. The footage showed McGregor knocking Pauli down during sparring, something he claims never happened. At the same time, Malignaggi was doing a lot of interviews and making some negative comments about Conor’s power. As it turns out, the entire situation made Conor want to fight Pauli, just not in the boxing ring.
“Conor wanted that,” Kavanagh told the media transcribed via MMAfighting.com. He said to me, ‘Let’s get him in the Octagon’, and I said that there was no way that he would fight in MMA. You’ve got to be able to prove yourself in the arena. When Conor wanted a boxing license they could look at the Diaz 2 fight where there was more or less 25 minutes of boxing. Why would Paulie go to MMA? He’d never go to MMA. Now, Conor could tweet now and say ‘I’m fighting Paulie Malignaggi’, and I guess I would be wrong then.”
“It wasn’t just general stuff explaining how he was part of the camp. He had to go back to New York to do some promotion for the Andre Ward fight, and straightaway he was disrespecting (McGregor’s) power. He was saying this and that, and I was thinking, ‘What are you doing, you have to come back here and spar Conor in seven days?’ This guy is a former world champion, he should know that you should keep your mouth shut until the fight is over – then write a book, then do fifty interviews,” Kavanagh said.
“That would have been no problem, we would have no issue with that. But you can’t go the next day and the day after that and the day after that, and start giving away ideas we have. That’s what threw me off, he wasn’t acting like a professional.”
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