UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture believes that Conor McGregor and Dana White have been less than honest with the ‘Malignaggi situation’
Former two-time world champion boxer Paulie Malignaggi sensationally quit his role as a sparring partner in McGregor’s camp following leaked photos which were pushed with a narrative favoring “The Notorious”.
Malignaggi had argued that the photo which appeared to show McGregor knocking him down was, in fact, the result of a push and took to social media to blast the Irishman. On Friday evening, UFC President Dana White released a clip which was intended to “prove” the knockdown was legitimate.
Couture, a UFC legend and former two weight world champion, accused both McGregor and White of “manipulating” the situation in McGregor’s favor:
“Let’s see the other eleven rounds that they sparred. Where did that footage go? What did that look like? We see the one round where Malignaggi may have been off-balance [and went down] and Malignaggi is treating it like sparring,” Couture told Undisputed on Fox Sports (h/t Boxing Scene).
“Sparring is different than fighting,” Couture said. McGregor is acting like he was in the main event on fight night. It’s still sparring in a practice gym [sic] and let’s see the other footage. I think they are manipulating the situation.
“Usually sparring is something done over weeks. The fact that this was a one-time event is questionable to me. I have my sparring partners replicate my opponent and they stay for the entire camp and they know what they are there, to help me prepare and solve the problem of the guy across the ring from me. This has a lot of questions around it.”
“I agree that [Malignaggi] is a skilled boxer, but he’s been retired and he’s a long way out of that. Again, I think it’s a manipulation. Where are the other rounds? If you’re going to show me that one little piece, where Conor had a good moment….. I’m sure there were other disputed moments, but Paulie didn’t have a guy there filming the whole thing, so those [moments] are not going to be released. [Having a camera crew and photographers] there is not normal, which is what calls this whole thing into question.”