Conor McGregor sparred with Malignaggi in the build-up to his much-maligned boxing match with Floyd Mayweather Jr, which he lost via a tenth-round TKO.
Malignaggi wasn’t part of Team McGregor for long, though, as he left the camp soon after images from their training sessions started doing the rounds on social media.
A video from the pair’s second sparring session was released by UFC president Dana White a few days after Malignaggi cut ties with McGregor, which many believe showed ‘The Notorious’ flooring the New Yorker.
McGregor and Malignaggi have been at odds with one another ever since the latter’s highly-publicised departure, which, in the minds of many, has laid the foundations for a future fight.
On Wednesday night, it was reported that negotiations over a potential grudge match between the pair are underway.
However, Malignaggi has insisted no such talks have taken place.
“Not true,” Malignaggi told Express Sport late last night when asked if he’s in talks to face the former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion.
Malignaggi believes the rumours of ongoing negotiations between himself and McGregor could be a ploy from his representatives to keep himself relevant.
Conor McGregor and Paulie Malignaggi exchange words outside the T-Mobile Arena
Conor McGregor and Paulie Malignaggi sparred with one another in the summer of 2017
Paulie Malignaggi on rumours of him being in talks to box Conor McGregor
He added: “But of course, Conor is the king of bulls**t so I would not be surprised if this Conor having his team put out rumours just to keep his name in the headlines.”
News of McGregor vs Malignaggi supposedly being in the works came a few days after the former expressed an interest in facing Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in an exhibition bout, a desire he revealed after seeing Mayweather lock horns with the 20-year-old.
Nasukawa accepted McGregor’s challenge but revealed he’d only face the Irishman if he cut down to 127lbs (58kg).
And Malignaggi can’t help but believe suggestions he’s in talks to box McGregor are tied to him being ‘shut down’ by Nasukawa.
Conor McGregor: Paulie Malignaggi doesn’t foresee the former UFC lightweight champion fighting him
“Yesterday, Tenshin Nasukawa shut him down by telling him he needs to make 58 kilos for a fight,” the 38-year-old said. “Now suddenly, the next day, he is another headline negotiating?”
Malignaggi, who hung up his gloves nearly two years ago, would love to settle the score with McGregor but doesn’t foresee the Dubliner ever setting foot inside the ring with him.
“I assure you he will never fight me,” the Brooklyn native said. “No balls wasn’t a catchphrase, it is a fact.”
The hotly-debated sparring sessions between McGregor and Malignaggi supposedly going to be released in a three-part Netflix series.
Conor McGregor: Paulie Malignaggi left Team McGregor after pictures from sparring were released
Unsurprisingly, Malignaggi believes the show won’t give an accurate depiction of what really happened when he went toe-to-toe with Ireland’s first UFC titleholder.
“I’m sure the footage will be cut around to show what they want to show you,” ‘The Magic Man’ told Express Sport in October. “He doesn’t have much, though.
“Having said that, even with the not much they have, they’ve convinced basically everyone of this bulls**t narrative. I
“It’s actually good fun to watch. I assure everyone it is, but he’s trying to perpetuate a lie.
Conor McGregor and Dana White shared video footage of an apparent knockdown of Paulie Malignaggi
“Me not being in shape or sharp aside, it was good action. And he has to thank his lucky stars that’s the shape I was in. Because despite 16oz gloves and headgear, that’s the only reason he doesn’t get stopped even in sparring.
“I had to deaden the pace for the sake of making sure I can finish the twelve rounds.
“It is the only reason he doesn’t get assaulted by me in that session. He has to, though, as we did eight rounds the first time.
“That one I still hadn’t got the memo that we had a beef and I took the casual approach to figuring out that he needs work. The second one, we both were meaner spirited though.
Conor McGregor is awaiting punishment for his part in the brawl which followed UFC 229
“He can show all footage, but if you haven’t got anything to be ashamed about, including the knockdown footage being twisted with the strange camera angles to sell it, then just show it as it is, right? I still don’t believe he has the balls to show the footage un-doctored.”
Before McGregor can take any sort of fight, he must first learn his punishment for his actions in the brawl which followed his UFC 229 loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov.
He was due to be sanctioned on December 10 but was granted a continuance by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Both he and Nurmagomedov are expected to learn their fates on January 29, the date for the NSAC’s next meeting.
McGregor is hoping to have a rematch with his successor at the summit of the lightweight division, but it remains to be seen whether the UFC brass gives him the next title shot ahead of Tony Ferguson – who has won his last 11 fights in a row.
Read more here: Daily Express :: Sport Feedhappy wheels
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