Artem Lobov and Paulie Malignaggi keep ruffling feathers as their BKFC showdown nears (video)

Though the UFC and Bellator, the two premier mixed martial arts organizations in America, are holding events this weekend, rogue fight promotion Bare Knuckle FC is garnering the lion’s share of attention, largely because of MMA’s biggest star. 

While it’s unknown as to whether or not Conor McGregor might show up at Saturday’s BKFC 6, his teammate Artem Lobov is front and center. Lobov is squaring off with one of McGregor’s most bitter rivals in former boxing sparring partner Paulie Malignaggi. 

Malignaggi was enlisted to help McGregor prepare for his bout with Floyd Mayweather, but that situation unraveled, as Malignaggi and McGregor didn’t jive well in sparring. There was a very public falling out between them that boiled over as McGregor was promoting the Mayweather bout.

Now, Lobov, who is a long time confidant of McGregor’s, is looking to step in for his friend and fight Malignaggi under the new Bare Knuckle FC banner on Saturday. 

Lobov has teased that McGregor might be there, but whether or not the Irishman shows up ringside doesn’t matter. Lobov and Malignaggi are generating enough of their own heat to steal the thunder from the UFC, which features a premier featherweight fight on Saturday in South Carolina, and Bellator, whose middleweight champion, Gegard Mousasi, is putting his belt on the line on Saturday in London.

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Artem Lobov and Paulie Malignaggi press conference altercation

(Courtesy of MMAFightingonSBN)

Artem Lobov BKFC pre-fight scrum: ‘He was never a world champion’

(Courtesy of MMAFightingonSBN)

Paulie Malignaggi BKFC pre-fight scrum

(Courtesy of MMAFightingonSBN)