On Monday, hours before it was announced that Conor McGregor was arrested on South Beach, Paulie Malignaggi spoke exclusively to FIGHT SPORTS regarding his signing with the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship.
The 38-year old fighter who transitioned out of boxing into broadcasting in 2017, has signed on with the organization beginning with their event in June. While speaking over the phone, Malignaggi was asked about his feelings on McGregor and whether or not the two had ever set up a showdown, the Brooklyn born boxer admitted that they never got to the table, but invited the “Notorious One” to join him in the BKFC.
“One incentive (to signing with the BKFC) was maybe Conor would have enough guts to say ‘okay this is meeting me in the middle’,” Malignaggi told FIGHT SPORTS.
“I thought it was a foregone conclusion that we were gonna meet in boxing, but obviously Conor knows better… he knows he would basically be assaulted in the gym if we were to just box. MMA, obviously the same thing would happen to me, but I felt like doing this may draw him closer to living up to what he’s been saying.”
Malignaggi feels that not only the BKFC is the best place for the two to fight, he feels BKFC founder David Feldman could pay McGregor more than what he made at UFC 229 against Khabib Nurmagomedov.
“I believe BKFC can make him more money that the Khabib fight,” the former world champion told FIGHT SPORTS.
“I think the only kind of fight that he can’t be matched (financially) is his fight with (Floyd) Mayweather. I think we’ll be able to make him an offer the he didn’t even make for the Khabib fight. Let’s be honest, his base for the Khabib fight was only $3 million… but BKFC can match those numbers and make it worthwhile for him. Then in the end, it’ll have to be worthwhile in that does he want to take an embarrassing defeat and catch a beating from me.”
Malignaggi went on to claim that McGregor would get a better financial payout from the BKFC as opposed to the UFC due to UFC not paying fighters their fair share, claiming it’s pitiful that McGregor’s purse for UFC 229 was $3 million, as opposed to Mayweather, who commanded a $100 million purse for their 2017 showdown in Las Vegas.
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For the full interview watch the video below where Paulie give FIGHT SPORTS more information about his journey into the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship and how his preparation compares to getting ready for a boxing match: