Conor McGregor and Paulie Malignaggi have been trading insults ever since the American quit the UFC champions training camp in acrimonious fashion back in August.
The former two-weight world boxing champion had been hired by the Irishman to help him prepare for his upcoming clash with Floyd Mayweather on August 26th.
After a seemingly positive first session in which the recently retired boxer spoke highly of McGregor, a second session resulted in a hotly disputed moment where Malignaggi was photographed on the canvas with McGregor standing over him.
The image was leaked to the press and from that moment, an open war erupted between the pair. Feeling the image was not telling the whole story, Malignaggi, with his pride wounded, insisted he had not been knocked down but was, instead, pushed.
As the American continued his social media campaign to tell all, UFC president Dana White released isolated footage of the incident, which, though did not definitively rule the incident as either a knock down or a push, it did suggest that Malignaggi had taken more than a few precision punches from McGregor.
Ever since and even after the dust has long settled on McGregor’s tenth round defeat at the hands of Mayweather, Malignaggi has continued to hurl insults and abuse at the UFC lightweight champion via his social media account.
Now, the referee that oversaw the contentious sparring session between the pair, Joe Cortez, has revealed to Helen Yee Sports that he would love to see the two face off in the ring in what he believes would be a better fight than McGregor’s boxing debut against the now 50 – 0 Mayweather.
“I would really push for that fight to happen because I feel that a lot of fans would like to see what really happened in that sparring session.
“It got a lot of interest. Because people wanted to know what was going on with Paulie and McGregor in that sparring session.
“I can tell you that I was there for twelve rounds with them and there was a lot going on. A lot of boxing fans and MMA fans want to know and I can tell you from being there that the fight should happen. It was very competitive. That is what I am saying. I know for a fact that it would make a good fight. It would be a better fight than McGregor vs. Mayweather.
“I got to speak with Paulie after that [Mayweather fight]. I told him that to shut everybody up maybe he should have a real fight (with Conor), now that McGregor showed that he actually has some talent. They should put Malignaggi and McGregor together. I think that would be a great fight and that the fans would buy that. Because it would be interesting.”
Right now, it is expected that McGregor will return to the octagon, potentially to defend his lightweight crown but with Malignaggi continuing to make increasingly desperate noises in the background, perhaps there might actually be another option in the squared circle for McGregor.
Hold onto your hats, there might be more to this one yet.