As accomplished as Paulie Malignaggi was as a boxer, many MMA fans may have become familiar with him through his feud with Conor McGregor leading up to and following the 2017 Mayweather vs. McGregor event. After McGregor’s team leaked footage of the Irishman getting the better of Malignaggi in a sparring session, Malignaggi would assertively challenge McGregor to release the footage of the entire session. McGregor never obliged, but he was sure to remind Malignaggi, including directly to his face, that he “got his ass whooped” and should get over it.
The two never settled their beef in an official fight, though Malignaggi did wind up suffering a loss to McGregor’s teammate Artem Lobov in a bare-knuckle boxing bout in 2019.
Malignaggi Shares Theory On McGregor’s & Masvidal’s Entrepreneurship Conceptions
In an interview with Helen Yee Sports, Paulie Malignaggi used McGregor as an example of fighters who try to create a feud with him when their careers aren’t going as planned.
“You know what’s funny about MMA? Some of these MMA fighters, they end up starting a beef with me when they know they’re on career suicide watch, they’re on career homicide watch, they’re almost over,” Malignaggi said. “McGregor did it with me because he knew he was gonna lose the Mayweather fight, and then he was probably not gonna have much of a career afterwards. And he hasn’t, really. He’s only lost. It’s just people keep following him…”
The retired boxer also claims to have been subject to an objectionable Facebook post from Jorge Masvidal prior to UFC 261. According to Malignaggi, Masvidal shared footage from the in-ring post-fight moments immediately following Malignaggi’s grudge match against Adrien Broner in 2013. Malignaggi believes both McGregor and Masvidal have followed the same pattern that began with him and ended with entrepreneurship.
“And I feel like Masvidal almost took a page out of (McGregor’s book),” Malignaggi said. “He posted something on his Facebook…I don’t have Facebook, but somebody sent me something that he posted on Facebook about what happened (with) me and [Adrien] Broner in the Broner post-fight, you know? And I’m like, ‘That’s odd that he would post that.’ I was actually giving him some big ups for having knocked out Askren in a couple of seconds…
“I think Masvidal’s kinda doing the same thing in that he was trying to start a beef with me. I just didn’t bite on it. Because he knew he was gonna lose the Usman fight. And then, he got absolutely smoked by Usman. And now, he’s becoming a promoter. See? So everybody always starts a beef with Malignaggi, see if it works, if it doesn’t work, they go into other things. McGregor started a beef with Malignaggi, it didn’t really work out, we didn’t have a fight, so he became an entrepreneur of whiskey, a whiskey entrepreneur. McGregor the whiskey entrepreneur.
“Masvidal started a beef with me, he gets himself knocked out…got smoked, and now, he became a bareknuckle promoter just like that. So entrepreneurship: First, you start a beef with Malignaggi, see if it works. If it doesn’t, you move on to entrepreneurship,” Malignaggi said with a smile.
Conor McGregor’s Proper No. Twelve venture has turned out to be much more profitable than a fight with Malignaggi or perhaps anyone else on Earth could have been, with McGregor recently being involved in a $600 million sale of the majority stake of the company. This was the leading cause of McGregor placing #1 on the Forbes 2021 Highest-Paid Athletes list. As for Jorge Masvidal, his Gamebred Fighting Championship promotion is up and running after kicking off its inaugural event last month.
Paulie Malignaggi is an award-winning commentator known best for his past work with Showtime. Malignaggi last competed in his aforementioned bare-knuckle boxing debut against Artem Lobov in 2019 that saw Lobov pull off the upset victory.
What’s your take on Paulie Malignaggi’s “theory?” Just a jokester having some fun, or is this the actual belief of the outspoken and controversial figure?