Wednesday during his media conference, Dana White touted over a million views on his personal social media of the footage of Conor McGregor and Paulie Malignaggi sparring.
Yet, footage from the two sparring sessions at the UFC Performance Institute have not been used by Showtime as part of its “All Access” series leading into the mega-fight in Las Vegas.
On Tuesday, UFC president Dana White said Showtime has plenty of video, but is choosing not to air it, because executives don’t want Malignaggi to look bad. Malignaggi is one of Mauro Ranallo’s commentary partners for Mayweather vs. McGregor.
In an interview with the Sporting News, Showtime Sports and Event Programming vice president and general manager Stephen Espinoza explained that White was not correct in his assessment.
“Dana’s misinformed here because we were dealing directly with Conor’s team on this…We did not receive, as Dana said, a ton of footage. We received a few short clips. Roughly a minute total which were provided by the Conor camp. We reviewed them and were very interested in using them and including them in ‘All Access.”
Espinoza would go on to sat that…
“it was a series of sort of spliced-together McGregor highlights, eight or nine seconds each. We didn’t want to use the whole thing. It was sort of repetitive. We were told if we didn’t use the whole segment as they edited it then we couldn’t use it at all. So in the end, Conor’s camp withheld permission for us to use it. Otherwise we definitely wanted to use it. There was no intent to protect Paulie. We just wanted to cut some of the clips because it was pretty redundant, repetitive stuff.”
White released two videos of the second sparring session last Friday on his social media. The first shows McGregor landing a hard left hand that snaps Malignaggi’s head back. The second and more viewed, shows McGregor seemingly dropping Malignaggi with a combination. The Brooklyn born fighter has claimed it was not a knockdown, but a case of him losing his balance because McGregor was holding his head down.
The stories keep mounting as August 26th gets closer and closer. What will happen next? One way to find out is tonight’s Floyd Mayweather Media Conference at 6pm est.