Former boxer Paulie Malignaggi has called out UFC star Conor McGregor as he begins a career in bare-knuckle boxing with BKFC.
Malignaggi has been linked to fighting Artem Lobov in his first appearance in the sport and with Lobov’s history as a sparring partner to McGregor, many fans consider this a step closer to an actual fight between McGregor and Malignaggi.
The two never stepped in the ring together for a qualified fight, but instead, fell out over a set of leaked videos that showed McGregor knocking down former two-weight champion Malignaggi as the Irishman trained for his boxing match with Floyd Mayweather.
Following a two-year sabbatical from fighting by Malignaggi, he called out his old foe on Twitter on Friday.
“Conor the coward @TheNotoriousMMA with two-minute rounds. I’m sure even YOU can’t quit at this! Time to settle it (in) @bareknucklefc,” said Malignaggi in a tweet.
Unsurprisingly, McGregor is yet to respond to the question, but a fight with Malignaggi could make sense for his career.
‘The Notorious’ McGregor has been absent from fighting since his high profile loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2018, when he was handily beaten and submitted.
So, although Malignaggi may not be the biggest name on his hit list, it may be a good route to re-assert his dominance in the ring/octagon.
As for Malignaggi’s deal with bare-knuckle boxing, the former boxer explained the choice in an interview.
“BKFC is the new wave in combat sports. They’re doing great things. I’m very excited to be a part of this organization,” said Malignaggi.
“I’ve accomplished some big things in (my) boxing career. I look forward to what this next phase brings.
“After a long boxing career, it’s easy to miss the limelight and the rush that combat brings. I look forward to getting back in action. And the new challenge of fighting for BKFC.”
Whether or not bare-knuckle is the future of fighting is yet to be seen, but any chance of a Conor McGregor return to fighting has our mouths watering.