UFC President Dana White recently released footage of UFC Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor dropping Paulie Malignaggi during their sparring sessions.
The UFC kingpin offered to give Showtime the footage and was promptly turned down by the premium cable channel.
“The last thing I want to do is get in a beef with Showtime, but we gave them a ton of the footage of the (Malignaggi vs. McGregor) sparring, and they denied it – because they didn’t want to make Paulie look bad,” he said to MMA Junkie. “They had a ton of the sparring footage, and they wanted to use zero (of it).”
White claims that Showtime didn’t want the footage because it made Malignaggi look bad, the retired boxer works as a part of their broadcast team for the upcoming super fight.
Showtime Executive Stephen Espinoza says the UFC President is simply misinformed as to why the footage wasn’t used.
"Dana’s misinformed here because we were dealing directly with Conor’s team on this," Espinoza said to the Sporting News. "We did not receive, as Dana said, a ton of footage. We received a few short clips. Roughly a minute total which were provided by the Conor camp. We reviewed them and were very interested in using them and including them in ‘All Access.’ But it was a series of sort of spliced-together McGregor highlights, eight or nine seconds each. We didn’t want to use the whole thing. It was sort of repetitive. We were told if we didn’t use the whole segment as they edited it then we couldn’t use it at all. So in the end, Conor’s camp withheld permission for us to use it. Otherwise we definitely wanted to use it. There was no intent to protect Paulie. We just wanted to cut some of the clips because it was pretty redundant, repetitive stuff."
Conor McGregor versus Floyd Mayweather takes place on Saturday, August 26 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.