Referee Joe Cortez Talks About McGregor Sparring Sessions

Longtime referee Joe Cortez was recently hired by Conor McGregor’s team to help the UFC Lightweight Champion adjust to the boxing rules for his bout against Floyd Mayweather.

When it comes to McGregor’s sparring sessions with Paulie Malignaggi, the longtime referee says McGregor handled himself well.

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“He handled himself pretty good with Paulie. That guy can pop. He was in there mixing it up a little bit with Paulie and it was the real thing,” he told Sirius XM. “They was no messing around. In fact, I had to stop the action and I had to say, ‘Alright guys, you guys are a little out of control here, you gotta stop this.’ It got a little rough.”

Malignaggi recently commented on sparring with McGregor as well, saying the Irishman doesn’t have “Oh My God” power.

Cortez also admits that when he officiated McGregor’s sparring sessions, there was a lot of trash talking.

“I had to put a stop to (the trash talking) as well,” said Cortez. “That’s part of why I had to stop the action.”

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.

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