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Morning Report: Randy Couture gives Conor McGregor 10% chance to win, says Malignaggi sparring video ‘reeks of a publicity stunt’

Premiere Of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Kong: Skull Island' - Arrivals Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture knows a thing or two about fighting, and as the man to take on boxing great James Toney in Tony’s lone MMA appearance, he also knows a little bit about spectacle fights and the build up that goes into them. So when “The Natural” says the infamous Conor McGregor vs. Paulie Malignaggi sparring video showing McGregor knocking down the former boxing champion, might be anything but it bears some consideration.

“I definitely see two guys sparring,” Couture said on The Herd with Colin Cowherd. “[But] I’m kind of questioning why there’s an official referee in his uniform there. That’s not a usual thing for a sparring workout. . . [The job of a sparring partner] is to give you a look, to present what your opponent may bring to this fight and to try to mimic that as much as you can. You’re not there to fight, you’re not there prove you can beat this guy or you can compete with this guy. That’s not what it’s about. You’re volunteering or being paid to give this guy a look, give him rounds, give him solid work, and mimic the guy he’s fighting.”

Malignaggi ended up leaving the McGregor camp after photos of the sparring session leaked and has said that McGregor did land good shots but that the video was highly edited to make McGregor appear much better than he is.

Couture was also connected to a similar situation ahead of his bout with Toney at UFC 118. Toney, worked with Dean Lister and Muhammad Lawal ahead of their bout and was said to have seriously threatened both men with submissions during training. Couture took down down immediately when the two fought and submitted a hapless Toney at 3:19 of the first round. So for Couture, the McGregor sparring video seems likely to be more of the same promotional seasoning instead of something substantive or instructive.

“This reeks of a publicity stunt to me. Normally, you don’t have an official referee there, presiding over a sparring match. Normally, you’d have two or three other partners there that would rotate in on rounds and give each other breaks because it’s tough being that guy. You know when you’re there you’re there to contribute, to help this guy find solutions to the problems his opponent is gonna bring.”

And Mayweather brings a host of problems for McGregor to have to answer; moreover, a host of problems 49 other professional boxers haven’t been able to answer. For Couture, regardless of the legitimacy of the Malignaggi knockdowns or not, things don’t look good for McGregor.

“I give Conor a one in ten chance of winning this fight. He’s unorthodox, he’s a southpaw, he’s not gonna throw things that Floyd’s used to seeing, he’s younger, and he’s a little bigger. Those are all positives for Conor, but at the end of the day, he’s still competing in a pure boxing match against one of the pound-for-pound best technical, best defensive fighters that we’ve seen in a long, long time.”


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GSP. Georges St-Pierre says he is obligated to defend the middleweight title if he wins.

DC. Daniel Cormier breaks his silence, believes he will fight Jon Jones again.

Build. Paulie Malignaggi says he and Conor McGregor “gotta fight.”


MacLife episode 1.

A Conor film that blew up yesterday.

Jon Jones talks about missing a chance to meet Ali.

The genesis of the Aljo-Garbrandt beef.

Aldo sparring a Mexican Olympic boxer.

Randy also went on Undisputed.


The Fighter and the Kid. Michael Rapaport joins to talk MayMac.

The Co-Main Event. Discussing the independent contractor issue and the UFC.


Caraway - Lineker seems to be a thing both guys want.

Why not? There is literally no reason not to wait.



Nordine Taleb bodyguarding for Neymar is wild.

.avec @neymarjr #neymar #psg #football #soccer #sttropez #brasil #ufc #mma #bjj #cr7 #allthewayup

A post shared by Nordine taleb (@tnt__mma) on

Platinum getting that purple belt.

Gustafsson following the Diaz structure and getting into the smoke game (tabacco, not weed).

Proud to be presenting my own snus edition: General and Göteborgs Rapé One

A post shared by Alex The Mauler Gustafsson (@alexthemauler) on

Doesn’t even matter that he got KO’d, dude can dance.


Lando Vannata (9-2) vs. Bobby Green (23-8); UFC 216, Oct. 7.

Mark Hunt (13-11-1, 1 NC) vs. Marcin Tybura (16-2); UFC Fight NIght 121, Nov. 19.


2004: At Pride Final Conflict 2004, Fedor Emelianenko and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira fought for the second time with the bout ending in a No Contest due to an accidental headbutt causing a cut. Earlier that evening, Mirko Cro Cop knocked out Aleksander Emelianenko with a head kick while Fedor watched backstage.

2009: Arguably the most important women’s fight in MMA history took place, when Cris Cyborg knocked out Gina Carano with one second left in the first round of the main event of Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg.


11 days.

Take it easy and see y’all tomorrow.

If you find something you'd like to see in the Morning Report, just hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram, add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting, and like us on Facebook.

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