Well, we asked for it!
A week after Paulie Malignaggi dramatically parted ways with the McGregor camp just days before the biggest bout of all time, we have some proof of what went down. Malignaggi stated via Instagram that despite there being great mutual respect between Conor and himself in the ring, he had considerable disagreement with the way his training camp was run. So much so that he wished the team well and left them on their own after just 2 sparring sessions with the MMA champ.
Speaking with MMA oracle Ariel Helwani on the The MMA Hour last week, the former two-time champion said that he believes he was set up to fail by the McGregor camp but he ended up getting the better of the UFC lightweight champ.
“I land in Vegas and they tell me, ‘you’re going 12 [rounds] tomorrow’,” Malignaggi told Ariel Helwani. “Now, for people who aren’t familiar with a training camp, no one is ever expected to do 12 straight [rounds]. The fighter in camp does 12 straight, but when the fighter in camp does 12 straight, he alternates [sparring partners].
“Doing it like that you’re gaining two things; you have the sparring partners all at their best and, like I said, [the fighter in camp] gets uncomfortable – you have to be comfortable getting uncomfortable at times.
“By the time you get to the third [sparring partner], you’re tiring, you’re uncomfortable. And the [sparring partner] is fresh, he’s looking to beat the crap out of you, you know?”
Malignaggi admitted that McGregor rallied in the final two rounds and landed some good shots. He said that when the 12 round were in the books, he thought the pair had settled their differences.
“After that sparring, I thought we had buried the hatchet,” he said. “We took a picture in the ring. Everybody gave us a hand. We just did 12 hard rounds, it didn’t matter who got the better of it, there is a respect thing after you spend 36 minutes in a ring with a guy and you’re trying to beat the s**t out of each other.
“In the dressing room I passed by Conor and he said ‘good work’ and I said ‘yeah, good work Conor.’ I thought we had buried the hatchet and I was thinking that maybe I didn’t need to be so on-edge in the camp anymore. I was hoping that because I had came with those intentions.”
Malignaggi stated that the infamous leaked photograph, in which he is on the canvas was a push that occurred towards the end of the fight, actually occurred during one of McGregor’s “worst moments”.
“The funny thing about the push down was this — it was during one of his worst moments,” Malignaggi said.
“He pushed me down on the floor to try and catch a break and the instant I went down I got back up. I remember when I was down I continued to trash talk. I said, ‘Buddy, you need a break?’ because Cortez had to wipe off my gloves.
“I started to take it to him right after that. I told him, ‘you don’t get no breaks here’, and I started to hit him with more body shots. I said, ‘take those, they don’t feel good’ and I could hear him whimper off the body shots, too.”
Today has seen two Instagram posts by none other than Dana White showcasing what exactly went down during these sessions. Paulie had previously said that the images posted by McGregor showing him lying on the mat with a brooding Conor standing over him were not indicative of the sessions and painted a false picture.
The former 140 and 147-pound boxing champ was “busted up bad” and “badly concussed” according to McGregor. Who stands by the images which must have rattled a few cages in the Mayweather camp.
Regardless of what you think, Conor looks a lot more formidable than he has in previous footage.
Malignaggi will certainly have some unique insights when he appears as an analyst for Showtime when Conor takes on Floyd on Saturday week.
Check out the two clips in the player below and let us know what you think: