It’s been a little while now since Paulie Malignaggi’s been in the MMA news, but thanks to a new interview he recently did, that’s all changed.
If you followed the lead-up to McGregor’s boxing match with Floyd Mayweather in August, then you know hardly a day went by, without Malignaggi’s name popping up. After the retired boxer was brought into help McGregor prepare for the August 26th bout, he was a popular subject for interviews. Then, when Malignaggi left McGregor’s camp, after claiming the UFC champ’s team had misrepresented how their sparring sessions unfolded, the drama really ratcheted up. So much so, there was talk that McGregor and Malignaggi might box in the future.
“I know Al Haymon’s talking with Dana White. I know they’re speaking so if they want the fight they’ll make it. You know, I don’t need to do all that because Al Haymon makes anything he wants happen, happen. The only way this doesn’t happen — once I spoke to Team Haymon and they told me they were on board to make this fight I knew they only way it wouldn’t happen is if this guy doesn’t have absolutely any balls to make it.
“But this fight would pay him more, this fight would get him more exposure, this fight is a bigger fight than anything else he has. There’s no more Mayweather fight, this fight is the biggest fight there is. So once they told me that I said ‘alright, the only way this doesn’t happen is if this guy has no balls…”
Malignaggi’s comments here likely won’t come as to much of a surprise, as it seems pretty clear the New York fighter would like to lock up a high paying, bout with McGregor.
But, the chances of this happening anytime soon, seem pretty slim to none. Following Tony Ferguson’s win at UFC 216, Dana White said that a bout between “El Cucuy” and McGregor needs to happen. Of course, there’s also a rubber match with Nate Diaz waiting in the wings as well. Ultimately, it’s hard to imagine that the UFC would let McGregor take another bout, outside of the Octagon at this time. It’s been nearly a year since the Irish star fought for the promotion.
Of course, there’s a chance that McGregor insists on fighting Malignaggi, but he would likely need to battle the UFC in order to do so.