There weren’t many people present when Conor McGregor went 12 rounds with former boxing champion Paulie Malignaggi in a sparring session recently but UFC president Dana White was front and center.
Ever since the sparring session ended, Malignaggi and McGregor have engaged in a war of words about what really transpired during those 36-minutes spent in the ring together as the UFC lightweight champion was preparing for his upcoming fight against Floyd Mayweather.
This past Friday, White released two separate clips from the sparring session including one that ended with Malignaggi on the ground, although he’s contended that he was actually pushed to the mat and not knocked down from McGregor’s punch.
Regardless of that one snapshot from the sparring session, White claims that nothing went Malignaggi’s way during those 12 rounds and the footage he released is only a small piece of the overall thrashing he took from McGregor that day.
“Let me tell you what, I was there for all 12 rounds and Paulie has said some crazy things, some bad things about me — I felt sorry for the guy,” White said on Monday when speaking to Sky Sports. “It was a one way beating and a lot of people were saying Conor couldn’t box, Paulie was obviously lying about everything that he said about the sparring match so I released it.”
Malignaggi has complained that the two small video clips don’t tell the whole story about what really happened so he’s asked for the full sparring session to be released to the public.
White says he has no problem putting out the full video but not until after McGregor’s fight with Mayweather.
“I’ve got no problem releasing the full tape,” White said. “The problem is Conor doesn’t want Mayweather to see everything that he’s doing and everything that he’s working on. Those were just some small clips.”
Shortly after the 12 round sparring session took place, Malignaggi left McGregor’s camp in anger after photos were released that didn’t paint him in the most flattering light.
Since that time, Malignaggi has gone on a public vendetta against McGregor not only for the photos that were released but for the treatment he’s given his other sparring partners throughout the training camp.
White countered by saying that it was probably in Malignaggi’s best interest that he left the camp when he did because sparring with McGregor was bad for his health.
“It was very one-sided,” White said. “It was an absolute beating and guess what? I think it was the right thing for Paulie Malignaggi to definitely leave for his health’s sake.”