The beef between UFC superstar Conor McGregor and former boxing world champion Paulie Malignaggi is real, but one that will never be settled inside of the ring.
Despite the tumultuous history between “Notorious” and Malignaggi, which stemmed from footage released of McGregor’s sparring session with Malignaggi leading into the Irishman’s superfight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. this past August, UFC president Dana White is unwilling to entertain a matchup between the two. After all, White bent the rules in order for McGregor to score a gigantic payday opposite “Money” and put the entire UFC lightweight division on hold in the process.
“Paulie Malignaggi never says sh*t that isn’t true,” White sarcastically said during a recent episode of the “Real Quick with Mike Swick” podcast. “Do you think people really want to see Conor vs. Paulie Malignaggi? People want to see Conor fight in MMA. That’s what they want to see. The Mayweather fight was a one-off, f*cking crazy deal. This is where he belongs, this is the sport he’s in, this is the sport he excels in and this is where he’s a world champion. This is where he needs to be.”
McGregor, who predicted he’d finish Mayweather within two rounds, ultimately lost his boxing debut via 10th-round TKO. While Malignaggi has done his best to try and goad McGregor into another boxing match, White isn’t buying it.
“Why did Paulie Malignaggi get up and walk out of camp after two sparring sessions? Because it was the right f*cking thing to do,” White said. “Because he was going to get hurt, because he was going to take damage that was going to affect him for the rest of his life that he didn’t need to f*cking take. It’s not like they were paying him big money or he had a f*cking fight coming up himself.
“Paulie Malignaggi got up and left camp, and he should have f*cking got up and left camp because Conor was going to f*cking hurt him badly. It’s no disrespect to the guy. It’s a fact. I was there. I watched the whole f*cking sparring session. That guy needed to go home and he needed to leave Las Vegas.”
Whether or not fight fans would actually pay out of pocket to see McGregor lock horns with Malignaggi inside of the boxing ring, there’s no denying that “Notorious” needs to sink his feet back into the Octagon as soon as possible. The UFC lightweight division already has an interim champion in the form of Tony Ferguson so McGregor must take back control sooner rather than later.
Down the road, if McGregor finds himself in search of another big boxing payday, Malignaggi, along with Mayweather, would be at the very top of his list.