Whether or not you enjoy Conor McGregor’s onstage antics, his return to mixed martial arts (MMA) earlier this week at UFC 229’s press conference in New York City (full replay here) was a sight to behold.
McGregor, who faces undefeated UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 on Oct. 6 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from Las Vegas, Nevada, has not fought inside of the Octagon since a knockout victory over Eddie Alvarez back at UFC 205 two years ago. The Irishman did take on undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. last summer, but that was more of spectacle than it was a competitive fight.
Now that McGregor is back in the fold his biggest haters have started to unearth themselves. One of them being former boxing champion Paulie Malignaggi, who has been wrapped up in a weird feud with McGregor ever since “Notorious” released a video of him knocking Malignaggi down during a sparring session leading into the Mayweather bout.
Malignaggi was recently asked about McGregor’s upcoming tilt with Khabib at UFC 229 and held nothing back when predicting how the lightweight title fight would unravel.
“That’s a good ass-kicking waiting to happen,” Malignaggi told FightHype. “He’s gonna get the s**t beat out of him. Like a nice ass-kicking too because unfortunately for him, Khabib is totally emotionless [and] doesn’t give a s**t about your antics. These Eastern Europeans, you can’t get in their heads. You ever notice these guys? They’re like robots, bro. They’re like killer machines. They have no emotion, bro. They have ice in their veins.”
While Malignaggi doesn’t know all there is to know about today’s MMA scene, he’s not too far off by saying Nurmagomedov is an emotionless killer hell bent on demolishing McGregor in front of millions of fans.
That feat will be difficult to accomplish, especially considering McGregor rarely sustains damage in his UFC appearances (other than his fights with nemesis Nate Diaz). Still, Malignaggi believes the brash Irishman is in for the beating of a lifetime at UFC 229.
“He’s been a pretty good punching bag lately,” Malignaggi explained. “He got the s**t beat out of him by everybody in sparring in camp - me and Dashon Johnson used to have to go easy on him. I smacked him around and he did everything he could to get me out of the camp. Then he got smacked around by Floyd Mayweather. Then get got smacked around by the authorities when he got arrested because he didn’t want to fight Khabib. Now he’s gonna get smacked around by Khabib.
“Yo, you’re a f**king piñata, bro. Think about it. You ever play with a piñata? You just beat the s**t out of it and you get a nice prize at the end of it. He’s like the piñata of combat sports. Everybody beats the s**t out of him and then gets a prize too! I love it. You’re a f**king piñata. Good luck. That’s a nice ass-whooping you’re gonna catch next month.”
Malignaggi is not the first, and most certainly won’t be the last, face around combat sports to predict McGregor’s demise at the hands of the undefeated Russian. Heck, McGregor is already a betting underdog.
But until “Notorious” actually gets his “ass whooped” by Khabib next month inside T-Mobile Arena all bets are off.
For more UFC 229 news click here.