UFC Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor and retired boxer Paulie Malignaggi have seen a rivalry grow between them after the MMA star apparently dropped the boxer during a sparring session.
While McGregor recently stepped into the boxing ring for The Money Fight, the lightweight champion wanted to settle his issues with Malignaggi in an MMA fight.
“Conor wanted that (an MMA fight against Malignaggi),” McGregor’s coach in John Kavanagh said during the launch of the Original Penguin AW17 collection in Dublin. “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.”
Malignaggi said he wants to get revenge on McGregor as well, but didn’t specify just how he wanted to achieve that goal.
Kavanagh also wishes that Malignaggi would have kept his mouth shut until after The Money Fight was completed.
“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,” he 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.”
McGregor hasn’t competed since The Money Fight, while Malignaggi retired from professional boxing in March of 2017.