Paulie Malignaggi insists he joined Conor McGregor’s training camp simply to help prepare him for his boxing match with Floyd Mayweather, and the only reason things went south is because of how he was mistreated.
In an extensive interview on “The MMA Hour,” Malignaggi didn’t hold back on everything that bothered him about his McGregor camp experience – ranging from blatant disrespect to his portrayal on social media.
“It’s something that I didn’t really ask for,” Malignaggi said. “I showed up with the best intentions in camp. At a certain point you start to realize your being used as a pawn where somebody is trying to get ahead at your expense and not through your help. My intention was to try to get Conor ahead through my help in camp. … I realized pretty early it was always going to be at my expense.”
McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) and Mayweather (49-0 boxing) face off on Aug. 26 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in a pay-per-view event expected to be the most lucrative prize fight of all time. Malignaggi’s time with the UFC lightweight champion included two sparring sessions.
Malignaggi said things didn’t seem right from the moment landed in Las Vegas. He arrived on July 19 and was told by McGregor’s people, who picked him up from the airport, that he’d be sparring eight rounds the next day, which was odd to Malignaggi considering he’d just taken a cross-country flight. The condition and location of the house Malignaggi would be staying in didn’t help matters, either.
“It’s in a dilapidated neighborhood. It’s a rundown house,” Malignaggi said. “I mean, yeah, it works. But it’s not really what you expect. … It reminded me of some kind of crack house that had been barely renovated a little bit.”
Malignaggi first sparred with McGregor on July 20, the time when McGregor posted a photo of himself showboating with his hands behind his back. Of that session, Malignaggi said McGregor got the better of him a little bit, chalking it up to bad conditioning. Tactically, though, Malignaggi said McGregor needed more work to sharpen his intelligence.
The next day, McGregor shared the showboating photo on social media.
“I was a little ticked off, but it wasn’t really like offensive,” Malignaggi said. “I had done that stuff to…