Malignaggi has been regarded as one of the top boxing analysts in the world, but it might be tough for him to remain unbiased after two separate sparring sessions with McGregor that ended in controversy.
Following the second 12-round session, Malignaggi left the training camp and proceeded to blast McGregor and his team for the treatment he received while spending time with them. Add to that, Malignaggi exploded over photos and videos that were released from the sparring session that made it appear that McGregor was getting the better of him in every exchange.
UFC featherweight Artem Lobov, who has been present throughout McGregor’s training camp, says there was nothing false about the information that was put out about the sparring session with Malignaggi.
In fact, Lobov believes it was the one-sided nature of the sparring match that left Malignaggi beat up and more importantly bruised his ego.
“Honestly, Paulie just got absolutely destroyed,” Lobov told MMAWeekly.com. “He started to say that we leaked the pictures but out of the decency we weren’t really saying nothing about the sparring at all and we weren’t saying much because we thought whatever happened in sparring stays in sparring. He was the one that came out with all the interviews. He was the one doing interviews on his way back from sparring sessions.
“It just got to a point where he kept doing interviews and moaning and talking that we just had to give our side of the story. The detail was released by Dana [White] of the sparring session and obviously there were a few pictures and you can see for yourself what exactly happened there.”
While Malignaggi has made numerous claims about the real reason why he was brought into the training camp just to get set up for the downfall, Lobov counters by saying that the former boxing champion just didn’t like how things played out in the ring.
“I honestly feel he was just not able to take it,” Lobov said. “He got beat up in sparring and he just wasn’t able. He didn’t want any more of this and he just saw a chance for escape and he took it.”
Lobov also fired back at Malignaggi over the condition of the house where the sparring partners helping McGregor were staying in Las Vegas.
Malignaggi complained that the living conditions were substandard, especially considering the amount of money that McGregor is set to make for this mega-fight with Mayweather.
“He came out with all this stuff about ‘I was mistreated’ and this and that. Look the truth is he just got slapped around and he didn’t want anymore of that and that’s why he left,” Lobov said. “He tried to make up stories about the house being bad and the conditions being bad. Look they were put into a nice little house, it wasn’t a mansion or anything, it wasn’t luxury but it was a very good house. They were given a nice car. They were provided with three meals a day from a restaurant. They didn’t have to cook. They were provided meals from a restaurant and they were paid.
“Look at the other sparring partners, they were all happy. They were happy with us in Ireland and they were so happy they came back here to Las Vegas as well. They get treated so well plus all the exposure that they get for this.”
Lobov ultimately believes Malignaggi is so used to the attention being on him during a training camp from his own career that he couldn’t handle playing sparring partner for McGregor leading into his fight.
“Paulie, I think that’s a boxing thing. If you’re in camp, it’s all about you,” Lobov explained. “They very rarely train as teams. In MMA, this is something we’re all used to. I just feel he couldn’t hack it that it wasn’t all about him. That’s what happened there.”