(Update: On Thursday night, Paulie Malignaggi posted to Instagram that he was leaving Conor McGregor’s training camp and would no longer be helping him prepare for Floyd Mayweather.)
It was only a matter of time before the potentially combustible relationship between Conor McGregor and new sparring partner Paulie Malignaggi lost the word “potentially.”
Malignaggi went on a Twitter rant Thursday evening, slamming McGregor and his team for leaking photos from their sparring session Tuesday night at the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas. Malignaggi was brought in by Team McGregor to help the UFC lightweight champion prepare for his first pro boxing match, against Floyd Mayweather on Aug. 26.
“I came to help this camp out, not to be exploited, now your gonna get the truth though,” Malignaggi wrote. “Post FULL UNEDITED VIDEO FROM TUES night #Ethics”
Its not nice 2 paint a pic that isn't true, this was a pushdown in sparring, post the whole video rounds 1 through 12 UNEDITED https://t.co/R82BLiMMVm— Paul Malignaggi (@PaulMalignaggi) August 4, 2017
I came to help this camp out, not to be exploited, now your gonna get the truth though. Post FULL UNEDITED VIDEO FROM TUES night #Ethics— Paul Malignaggi (@PaulMalignaggi) August 4, 2017
Malignaggi told ESPN on Wednesday that he felt like he was set up a bit by McGregor and the UFC. He flew into Las Vegas from his hometown of New York on Monday night and was penciled in for 12 rounds of sparring Tuesday — with an unexpected crowd at the UFC Performance Institute, including UFC president Dana White and former UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta. Malignaggi said it was a very physical session, which has been backed up by McGregor’s team and Joe Cortez, the referee brought in.
"Lot of violence," Malignaggi said. "I went in there to prove a point. I didn't like the fact I had to fly across the country on Monday, and they have me scheduled for 12 [rounds] on Tuesday. I thought it was a little bit of a setup.
"Usually all sparring is private. I show up at the UFC headquarters and [former owner, Lorenzo] Fertitta is there. [UFC president] Dana White is there. So, I'm thinking these guys are thinking they'll catch me right off the flight, set me up for him to look good in front of his audience. I didn't like that. I kind of went in with a chip on my shoulder.”
It seems like Malignaggi wasn’t all that thrilled with how it went down Tuesday and now he’s even more upset by the photos that have leaked, including one that appears to show Malignaggi getting dropped by McGregor. Malignaggi tweeted it was a push down — and that he actually beat McGregor up.
“I actually beat his ass, 24 hrsoff a flight 2 lol, which is why Im saying post the vid, I try not 2 be petty but seems it's late 4 that now,” Malignaggi tweeted.
I actually beat his ass, 24 hrsoff a flight 2 lol, which is why Im saying post the vid, I try not 2 be petty but seems it's late 4 that now. https://t.co/vSE2Iw4ffM— Paul Malignaggi (@PaulMalignaggi) August 4, 2017
Malignaggi added on Twitter that he wasn’t supposed to do interviews about his sparring time with McGregor, but he did after McGregor began posting photos on social media. The veteran boxer, and television analyst, said he knows the leaks this time came from McGregor, because only his official photographer was allowed in the room.
I did interview BECAUSE of the pics, I'm not ur average sparring partner u post pics with me media will hound me, I've said stop with pics. https://t.co/9c85977PQ5— Paul Malignaggi (@PaulMalignaggi) August 4, 2017
It stays in the gym, until the guy you're boxing with keeps making it public u fucking mutt, works both ways use some common sense lol— Paul Malignaggi (@PaulMalignaggi) August 4, 2017
Only his personal photographers allowed in the gym. Don't just invent you're own reality of things because it's how u wish it to be buddy. https://t.co/OsnN2AkL56— Paul Malignaggi (@PaulMalignaggi) August 4, 2017