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McGregor and Malignaggi: one of the leaked photos.
# Fighting Talk
Paulie Malignaggi brands McGregor a 'd**khead' after training camp row
Former boxing champ quit as sparring partner ahead of McGregor v Mayweather on 26 August.

PAULIE MALIGNAGGI HAS slammed Conor McGregor as a ‘dickhead’ and ‘jerk-off’ after their high-profile row.

Two-weight world boxing champion Malignaggi quit McGregor’s training camp last week when photos of their behind-closed-doors sparring sessions were leaked on social media.

In an hour-long interview with Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour, Malignaggi detailed their second session, a 12-rounder which featured the now infamous ‘knockdown’ caught on camera – which Malignaggi claims was a pushdown.

“The funny thing about the pushdown round was this, that he tried to play it like a knockdown,” he said.

“It was during one of his worst moments. He pushed me down on the floor to try to catch a break. The instant I went down, I got up. I remember, I continued to trash talk. I said, ‘Sup buddy, you need a break? You needed that break?’ because (referee Joe) Cortez had to step in and he had to wipe off my gloves.

I started taking right to him right after that. I said, ‘there’s no breaks here, you don’t get no breaks’, and I started to hit him with more body shots. I said, ‘take those, they don’t feel good’, and I started hearing him whimper with the body shots, too. I said, ‘take those, eat some of those, get used to those.’

MMAFightingonSBN / YouTube

Malignaggi, who will be a Showtime analyst for McGregor’s hugely-anticipated fight with Floyd Mayweather on 26 August, felt that the pair ‘buried the hatchet’ in that session.

But when he approached McGregor in the dressing room afterwards to request that no more photos be posted on social media, he did not get the response he expected.

“This is probably where I realised what a dickhead this guy is because at that moment we had just done 12 hard rounds and there’s a respect that I’m feeling, at least.”

“He looks at me and I expect, ‘alright Paulie, you got it, you’re right man, let’s just keep this good work going.’

“Instead, he looks at me and he gives me this smirk smile, laughing at me, and he starts walking away from me.

He puts his hands up in the air and he gives me his back, he’s walking away towards the showers and he’s like, ‘Haha, I don’t know Paulie. We got some good ones in those last two rounds. I don’t know about that.’

“At this point I’m waiting for Ashton Kutcher to walk into the dressing rooms and say I got Punk’d. I thought it was a joke. I thought there was no way this guy is that much of an asshole. Or I expect Conor to turn around and be like, ‘I’m just kidding man, you got it. Let’s just get this hard work and finish this camp strong.’

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“I’m expecting one of those things. The last thing I’m expecting is this guy to keep going off into the sunset, off into the showers, and just not say anything. That’s what he did. I was like, ‘what a jerk-off, what a jerk-off.’”

– Originally published 09.12, 8 August

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