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Conor McGregor wanted Paulie Malignaggi to fight him in UFC

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Conor McGregor After-Fight Party And Wynn Nightlife Residency Debut, Encore Beach Club At Night In Wynn Las Vegas Photo by David Becker/Getty Images for Wynn Nightlife

When Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight champion Conor McGregor completed his rivalry with boxing icon Floyd Mayweather Jr., which came by way of tenth-round technical knockout, “Notorious” set his sights on another trash-talking pugilist.

Paulie Malignaggi.

The former IBF junior welterweight champion was brought in to the Irishman’s fight camp to help him train for Mayweather’s style of offense. Unfortunately, some sparring shenanigans — and the videos that followed them — forced Malignaggi to jump ship.

In the days and weeks to follow, McGregor and Malignaggi traded barbs in the media, to the point where an in-ring showdown seemed like a foregone conclusion. But “Notorious” wasn’t aiming for the squared circle.

“Conor wanted that,” Kavanagh told Original Penguin AW17 collection in Dublin (via MMA Fighting). “He said to me, ‘Let’s get him in the Octagon’, and I said that there was no way that he would fight in MMA. Why would Paulie go to MMA? He’d never go to MMA.”

Neither would Mayweather (despite this).

While we don’t yet know when or where McGregor will return to UFC, he’s expected to (eventually) defend his 155-pound strap (or not), barring a return to welterweight to settle his score with longtime rival Nate Diaz.

Time will tell.