Paulie Malignaggi appeared on the latest edition of The MMA Hour and while relaying his side of the ongoing pushdown versus knockdown saga he described Conor McGregor sparring partner and UFC featherweight, Artem Lobov, as “a punching bag” on several occasions.
Reacting to Malignaggi’s statement, Lobov claimed that he would be more than happy to entertain a fight with the former two-time world champion, insisting that he would “box the ears off him.”
Lobov also claimed that Malignaggi specifically said bad things about him and Tiernan Bradley, another McGregor sparring partner, due to statements they made after the knockdown controversy first came to the forefront.
“Let’s be honest, it’s very simple, there were three sparring partners — me, Tiernan (Bradley) and Dashon (Johnson),” Lobov told MMAFighting.com.
“I had an interview with Ariel Helwani where I called Paulie a diva. Tiernan had another interview where he gave him a little bit of stick too. Guess what? Paulie decides to talk bad about me and Tiernan and say nothing about Dashon.
“Why? Dashon is the only that didn’t give interviews about him or say anything about the incident. It’s clearly emotional from him. He’s trying to get back at me and Tiernan, but it’s no big deal to me.
“If he wants to fight, I’m down to fight. I’ll box the ears off him, no problem.”
Many believe that Malignaggi is trying to position himself for a fight with McGregor through his continued public rebuttals to the footage. Lobov hopes that is true, but believes that the former two-world champion is just emotional rather than trying to align himself with an opponent.
“I hope that’s what it is, but I don’t think so,” he said. “I think he’s an emotional mess and he doesn’t know how to control it. He saw me calling him a diva and he saw Tiernan doing the interviews and he just couldn’t take it.
“I hope he’s trying to line up a fight, I would love that.”
‘The Russian Hammer’ went on to outline why his ‘diva’ assessment of Malignaggi is true.
“The reason why I called him a diva, and a lot of people have given me criticism over that, the reason I said that is because I’m not telling lies. I always stick to the facts,” Lobov said.
“Yes, it might have sounded harsh and he probably got a bit of stick for it, but you can’t deny that I’m telling the truth.
“He was given a wage that he was happy with. He was given a car, he was put in a house and he was provided food, three meals a day actually, from a very nice restaurant. What else can you ask for?
“He was saying that the conditions were bad. Dashon and Tiernan were with us in Ireland and they were so happy with the setup that they wanted to come to Vegas.
“I don’t know what he is on about, so for me, he’s just being a diva. He’s an emotional mess, that’s what he is.”
Lobov reiterated that McGregor whitewashed Malignaggi in their final sparring session. He believes Malignaggi will eventually tell the truth about what took place, but not until after McGregor defeats Floyd Mayweather.
“Conor dominated him in every single round. It was 12-0, and it was easy to score.
“Paulie doesn’t want to admit that now, because it’s not cool yet, Conor is seen as the amateur in the boxing world. I think when Conor beats Mayweather, suddenly Paulie will come out and he will admit that he was spanked because it will be seen as normal.
“Now, he just can’t accept that this newcomer absolutely destroyed him in the ring when he was a two-time world champion.”