Paulie Malignaggi is not holding back, and he still wants a piece of the UFC lightweight champion.
After his boxing match against Floyd Mayweather Jr. this past August, it seems Conor McGregor may still have a willing foe should he return to the ring.
Malignaggi has had a pretty well-documented set of grievances regarding McGregor, particularly his alleged treatment while agreeing to be a sparring partner for the Irishman. Citing subpar housing conditions, recording shenanigans and other items, the welterweight and light welterweight boxer has been determined to get an actual boxing match this time. He’s even gone so far as to claim he’d fight Conor “for free.”
In a new video (courtesy of Elie Seckbach of ESNEWS), Malignaggi expressed his frustrations and laid out why he continues to be so adamant about getting this fight (transcription courtesy of Jed Meshew of MMAFighting):
You talked all this s**t about how you handled it in the cage, now not only are you not releasing the video, but now you want to not box either? Nah, he doesn’t want it that way. You’ve got to be a man and prove yourself. You’ve got to show what kind of balls you’ve got. It’s easy to talk all that s**t, now since it was so easy, you’ve got to box and you’ve got to prove it. No, we’re not going in a cage because that’s not where you “handled me.” You “handled me” in the ring, right? So now go and prove it.
“He’s got to man up now. He’s got to stand up for what he said or he’s gonna continue to prove what I said about him, that he’s got no balls.”
Malignaggi goes on to rightfully point out that he was not at 100% capacity and that his travel schedule (as well as last-minute changes to sparring plans) led to him not looking better in the sparring footage.
Now, whether or not this fight can or will happen is up in the air. The fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. could very well have been a one-off, but perhaps the payday could be enticing not only to McGregor, to the UFC as well. On the other hand, the interim lightweight title will be decided this upcoming weekend at UFC 216, and a unification bout will have to happen eventually.
Paulie may not get his wish, but from the looks of it he’s not going to stop trying anytime soon.