Count Jose Aldo among those who are skeptical that Conor McGregor dropped Paulie Malignaggi in a recent sparring session.
It’s hard to tell whether bringing Paulie Malignaggi to his training camp was a terrible distraction or a work of pure genius by Conor McGregor. The UFC lightweight champion has made a point of using his training partners to create shine for himself and an enigmatic aura that he may be a dramatically better boxer than most pundits would give him credit for.
In the case of Malignaggi, that narrative has been working overtime. What started as a picture of McGregor showboating, as well as some chatter about the two men putting in some hard rounds, has turned into a full blown war of words. Reports have been leaking that McGregor put the screws to Malginaggi in their sparring session, with a photo surfacing of Malginaggi on the canvas, apparently after being dropped by the Irishman.
Malignaggi has since denied those reports, saying he was pushed and that, while McGregor is a capable fighter, “His arrogance is to the point that he can’t make progress, he can’t learn.”
So, who’s to be believed? If you ask Jose Aldo, the former featherweight champion seems to be 100% on the side of Malignaggi.
“It was a push. Yes, I believe [Malignaggi],” Aldo said in an interview with FightHype.com (transcript via MMA Fighting).
“McGregor has a good punch but he cannot say that he’s the biggest puncher. MMA gloves are tiny – four ounces – so when they connect, they drop you,” Aldo continued, speaking through a translator.
Aldo also gave his thoughts on the likelihood that fans will see McGregor return to MMA after getting his massive Mayweather payday. It sounds like he thinks fans will be lucky to see McGregor ever fight again anywhere, whether it’s boxing or mixed martial arts.
“With the money he will get from this fight, he will never fight again. Not MMA, not boxing, nothing.”
Mayweather vs. McGregor takes place on August 26th in Las Vegas, Nevada. The card is expected to also feature Gervonta Davis vs. Roman Martinez for the IBF world super featherweight title. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for more news and notes as the fight approaches.