This Saturday, Paulie Malignaggi and Artem Lobov fight in a Bare Knuckle rules fight on Pay-Per-View to settle a beef that started over Malignaggi sparring with Conor McGregor prior to his 2017 fight with Floyd Mayweather.
Malignaggi, who was incensed when McGregor’s team released photos of the Brooklyn born boxer knocked to the canvas by the UFC double champion, has been on a campaign to call out McGregor ever since.
Now, Malignaggi has followed the former UFC fighter, Lobov to the BKFC, with the two facing off on Pay Per View in the main event of BKFC 6.
David Feldman, the BKFC’s president and founder was asked this week if McGregor, who is currently retired, would make his way to Florida to support Lobov.
“They won’t give confirmation yet but if I’m a betting man, I’m betting he’s coming,” Feldman told MMAFighting. “They’re not going to give confirmation and if they are, they’re not going to tell us so we put it out there ‘hey Conor McGregor’s coming to the fight’ and then he’s mobbed.
“So it’s not going to happen like that but from the conversations I’m having, if I was going to bet on it, he’ll be there but who knows.”
“I think if Conor shows up, it’s a huge advantage for Artem,” Feldman added as both Lobov and Malignaggi have engaged in mind games, verbal assault, and physical violence. Malignaggi has gone as far as spitting at Lobov during a chaotic New York City press conference back in May.
“I talked to Paulie about the spitting. I think the spitting took it a step too far and our company definitely doesn’t condone that,” Feldman said. “The verbal whatever, pushing a guy in the heat [of the battle], that’s all part of face offs and press conferences but spitting took it to a new level.
“We don’t condone that and we really wish it didn’t happen but it did create a lot of hype for the fight.”
As far as a third incident in the days leading to BKFC 6, Feldman says that the company is doing everything possible to keep Malignaggi and Lobov separated so they can finally settle the score in the arena where they are being paid to do it rather than a press conference stage instead.
“We’re going to have ample security at the press conference and the weigh-ins,” Feldman revealed. “They’re staying at different hotels so that’s not going to be an issue but definitely as the press conference and weigh-in where we know they will see each other. I don’t think if they see each other, they’re going to just jump in but when they get in each other’s face and they’re that close and then they start talking, that’s when the problems arise.
“So we’re definitely going to have ample security, more than ample security and I don’t see anything arising. I don’t think either of them want to blow the opportunity for this event and they don’t want to blow their pay either.”