Paulie Malignaggi and Artem Lobov came face-to-face for the first time since being signed to fight on June 22 and the result was a rather ugly exchange.
Artem’s bareknuckle career kicked off with an absolutely bonkers showdown against UFC veteran Jason Knight at BKFC 5 about seven weeks ago – a fight he was able to edge out slightly on the scorecards.
Even with that fight as an opener, the intention always seemed to be to make the showdown between Paulie and Artem a reality for June 22.
And while the quick turnaround for The Russian Hammer may worry some, the man has made his career on the back of his dedication to fighting anyone, anywhere, at any time.
It’s a fight with the type of narrative that any promotion would kill for, given the ties it has to the biggest draw in combat sports today, Conor McGregor – and today, the pair had their first opportunity to face each other as opponents.
The entire press conference boiled down to a rather heated verbal spar between both men – with Paulie taking the bulk of the questions as well as every opportunity he could get to have a vulgar dig at his rival.
Tensions were clearly bubbling by the time the staredown started and after a minute or two spent shouting back and forth – the former boxer spat in the face of the UFC star, causing them to be separated, ending the presser.
Watch the video, courtesy of TheMacLife.com, below.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena