Paulie Malignaggi really wants a fight with Conor McGregor.
The former boxing champion has never gotten over being punked by McGregor’s camp in the lead up to the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight. After the two sparred, pictures and video of McGregor beating on Paulie started to appear online, and ever since then Malignaggi has been denying things went down like that and demanding a real fight to assuage his honor.
McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh revealed that Conor was interested in fighting Paulie, but only in a cage. Surprisingly, that demand hasn’t stopped Malignaggi from pushing for it to go down. One giant obstacle that stands in their way: no athletic commission would ever sanction the battle so long as Malignaggi is 0-0 in MMA. But how about 1-0?
According to recent tweets, Paulie has already reached out to the UFC for a fight, and he’d be willing to take on rookie UFC fighter and former WWE superstar CM Punk.
Paulie’s manager Al Haymon spent the last several months working alongside Dana White to put together Mayweather vs. McGregor, so if anyone could convince the UFC president to give Paulie a chance, it’s him. And we’ve got to admit, a battle between Punk and Malignaggi is fascinating in a freakshow kind of way. Could an MMA novice defeat a former boxing champion in the Octagon?
The UFC has very limited options when it comes to what to do with CM Punk: throw him in for another drubbing from a real pro, put him in some sort of celebrity bout, or do this Malignaggi thing. So why not Malignaggi?