MMA Rundown

Paul Malignaggi Is Talking His Way Into the Second Biggest Fight in Combat Sports History

Paul Malignaggi is working his way into a shoot with Conor McGregor, and it’s working. 

After completely stealing the spotlight from Floyd Mayweather and even Conor himself, Paulie Malignaggi has spent the week in a tirade against the McGregor team. And now everyone can only talk about a potential matchup between Malignaggi and McGregor.

MMA media, and let’s be real sports media at large, were collectively salivating over the photos Conor’s camp released, as a ray of hope that, just maybe, Conor could do it. But Paulie Malignaggi was shrewd as fuck. By quitting the camp and instantly changing the narrative to him schooling McGregor, he put himself into the best win-win position of his career. Either Conor doesn’t respond to him, which just fuels speculation and interest into a future fight between the two. Or Conor McGregor does respond and you’ve stolen the spotlight of the biggest fight in combat sports history. In one move, Malignaggi inserted himself as a major character in the biggest fight of all time. That’s how the game is played on an expert level.

And so far, the media in general have bought into the narrative hook, line, and sinker. Even without a response from Conor McGregor’s camp, it seems like he’s already become the next logical step for Conor in boxing. Within the span of only two weeks, Malignaggi has nearly talked his way into the biggest payday of his career.

So far, Malignaggi he has doing well, walking a delicate line of appearing like his animosity toward Conor is “genuine”, while brushing aside the obvious financial motive for him to want to fight a grudge match with the world’s most popular fighter. It’s a hard skill to master. Unfortunately, the first cracks in the facade of this finely played out drama between the “Magic Man” and “Notorious” have now started to appear.

I present these tweets as evidence that Paulie Malignaggi’s beef with Conor is the result of careful maneuverings by the Malignaggi camp, aiming for their payday of a lifetime.