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Morning Report: Paulie Malignaggi: ‘No balls’ Conor McGregor will look for a way out of Khabib Nurmagomedov fight

Ultimate Boxxer Press Conference Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

A year ago this month, Conor McGregor crossed over into boxing for a superfight with Floyd Mayweather Jr., losing by 10th-round TKO. In the lead-up to the fight, McGregor brought in various boxing coaches and fighters to help prepare himself for facing one of the greatest boxers of all time in his only his pro debut. The most ‘Notorious’ of these training partners was former IBF junior welterweight and WBA welterweight champion, Paulie Malignaggi.

McGregor flew Malignaggi in for sparring and, so the story goes, more than held his own against the former world champion. Malignaggi took offense to the characterization by McGregor and the relationship turned acrimonious. Malignaggi refuted the claims that he was beat up in sparring but then UFC President Dana White released a brief video of the sparring showing McGregor knocking Malignaggi down on one occasion. It looked like McGregor and Malignaggi were setting themselves up for a boxing match in the future but after Mayweather summarily dispatched McGregor, the beef seemed to die down. Well, no more.

Over the weekend, McGregor posted to Twitter, celebrating the one-year anniversary of White releasing the sparring footage, taking a shot at Malignaggi while doing so.

In response, Malignaggi went on SiriusXM Boxing this week to discuss McGregor’s Tweet and the continuing feud between the two, saying that McGregor “still thinks about the beating he caught, every day.”

“His pride is hurt,” Malignaggi opined. “He still thinks about the beating he caught, every day, in the gym last year. He had four seconds of highlights and it’s burning him inside that he only has four or five seconds of highlights in 36 minutes. He thinks about me every single day. His personality, his behavior pattern is very consistent with this. A year later he is still Tweeting about me. A few months after we sparred he put his only highlights on the documentary of his that came out as well. He’s really, all by himself, coming up with these ideas to think about Paulie Malignaggi.

“I feel bad. I hurt his pride, I hurt him as a man. Sure, he gets his feelings up and his hopes up when all his pussy fans get his back on social media and believe his four seconds of highlights, that gets his hopes up. He needs a pick-me-up so he’ll post a Tweet every once in a while about me just to give himself a little pick-me-up just so his fans can tell him, ‘Yeah, Conor! You’re the man!’ But when he lays his head on the bed deep at night, he knows he’s one of combat sports’ biggest pussies and that’s the problem. He knows who he is inside. . .

“Somebody’s gotta remind him that he made $100 million. Someone’s got to remind him that he’s living the good life. He just had a baby. He had a lot of things that really should distract him to not think about Paulie Malignaggi. You make $100 million, you have a couple kids in the past year, you’ve got a documentary that came out, you just signed a big fight - I don’t know. I really feel bad for him.”

Despite losing to Mayweather, McGregor did in fact have a phenomenal night in his pro boxing debut. He made somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 million - making him one of the most successful boxers ever, already - and earned high praise from many for doing better than expected against an undefeated legend of the game. Now though, McGregor has another undefeated fighter on the horizon, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and Malignaggi says he is just as screwed in that fight as he was against Mayweather.

“Here’s the thing about Conor, I’ve said that he has no balls and he has a problem with this fight,” said Malignaggi. “Khabib is not a guy that will put you out of your misery. Remember the Nate Diaz fight, when he shot in on Nate Diaz and got submitted? Nate Diaz is a guy you don’t want to wind up on the ground with because he’s a black belt in jiu-jitsu and he’ll submit you right away. If you’re gonna fight Nate Diaz, you have to keep the fight standing up. In that fight against Nate Diaz though, he’s getting pummeled in round two and he’s probably gonna get pummeled for the rest of the fight, so what does he do? He needs a way out of it because he doesn’t want to get beat up for four straight rounds. So what does he do? He goes, ‘If I take this fight to the ground, Nate will submit me and then it won’t look like I quit.’ Because if you’re fighting Nate Diaz, common sense tells you that you don’t want to wind up on the ground. Conor is the one that took that fight to the ground. He shot in looking to take that fight to the ground. Why did he do that? Because he’s trying to quit. If Nate puts him in a submission, he can quit and then it looks like ‘Oh well, I had to tap out.’ But really the decision was made when he shot in that he was quitting already.

“Now, Khabib is not a guy that’s known as a submission guy. Now, I’m not a mixed martial arts expert, but Khabib is more of a ground and pound guy, which means you don’t have the option to be submitted really because Khabib will just keep you on the ground and punish you and beat you and beat you and beat you. Now, granted, Conor has some skills standing up a little bit and maybe Khabib will have a hard time getting it to the ground, but if the fight ends up on the ground, it’s only a beating for Conor. So how is a guy with no balls gonna take a good beating for five rounds when he looks to quit as soon as he gets uncomfortable? That’s the question of the day really.”

McGregor has not fought inside the cage in nearly two years and his fight against Nurmagomedov is one many consider to be the toughest stylistic match-up possible for the former two-division world champion. Elite wrestlers have had success against McGregor before and Nurmagomedov may be the best in MMA when it comes to functional wrestling, so once he gets rolling, Malignaggi believes that McGregor will be looking for the easiest way out.

“The fact is he’s gonna look for a way out of that fight too,” Malignaggi concluded. “Look at round five of the Diaz rematch, he’s literally running for his life. Who does that? With the fight hanging in the balance, who runs for the entire final round? He was given the decision in a close decision that could have went either way but who takes that chance though? These are all character flaws of a man with no balls. When you’re a fighter you can tell right away who has character and who doesn’t. The guy has none so he tries to play it up in other ways so he covers up the fact that he has no balls.”

Conor McGregor faces Khabib Nurmagomedov for the UFC lightweight title at UFC 229 on October 6 in Las Vegas, Nevada.


Not bad. Pay-Per-View estimates are in for UFC 227 and they’re better than expected.

Pricey. Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor ticket prices announced for UFC 229.

Injury. Glover Teixeira injured, out of UFC Sao Paulo main event.

Ill Will. Kamaru Usman explains why he has ‘malicious intent’ for Colby Covington.

Motivation. Lyoto Machida responds to Gegard Mousasi: Everything he says ‘motivates me.’


The Sound Off.

Brandon Vera is an actor now.

KO of the Week.

Werdum siding with Khabib.

Behind the Scenes at Jackson-Wink.

A Woodley-Till promo.

Oscar skewering MMA fighter pay.


Fights Gone By. Jack Slack on the downfall of Mighty Mouse.

The MMA Report. Previewing Bellator 204 plus interviews with Eryk Anders and Jon Tuck.


Not pleased.

Nick Newell taking no prisoners.

Kevin Lee is looking for a reason to throw away $100K.

Chandler getting in on the fun.

Pretty sure Colby doesn’t recognize that song is satire.

Apparently Rampage got hit by a truck.

Bisping teasing a comeback already?

Retired? Nah, I’m just getting started. @rvcasport

A post shared by Mikebisping (@mikebisping) on

Tyson wants back in the game.

Roy starting the prep.

Tony being Tony.



Benson Henderson (25-8) vs. Saad Awad (23-9); Bellator 208, Oct. 13.


2004: Mirko Cro Cop knocked out Aleksander Emelianenko at Pride Final Conflict 2004. That night also featured the second meeting between Fedor Emelianenko and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, this time in the finals of the heavyweight grand prix. The fight ended in a No Contest when Emelianenko suffered an accidental cut early into the bout.

2009: Cris Cyborg stopped Gina Carano to win the inaugural Strikeforce women’s featherweight championship. Also on this night, Gegard Mousasi took the light heavyweight championship with a 60 second KO of Renato Sobral and Gilbert Melendez stopped Mitsuhiro Ishida to claim the interim lightweight title.


Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.



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