Conor McGregor welcomes a ‘real fight’ with ‘rat’ Paulie Malignaggi

Conor McGregor would love to face former sparring partner Paulie Malignaggi in MMA

Conor McGregor might be focused on his return to the UFC but he hasn’t forgotten about his old sparring partner Paulie Malignaggi.

McGregor and Malignaggi trained together on two different occasions in the lead up to the UFC lightweight champion crossing over for a boxing match against Floyd Mayweather in August.

Following the second sparring session, Malignaggi left the camp in anger after photos were posted that painted the picture that McGregor was getting the better of him, which he claimed wasn’t the fact at all. Malignaggi’s irritation towards McGregor only grew after two separate video clips from the session were released that appeared to back up the photo evidence.

Since then, Malignaggi has continued to take shots at McGregor at every turn whether it’s in interviews or on social media and McGregor has been paying attention.

In fact, McGregor called Malignaggi a ‘f–king rat’ during a recent Q&A session in Scotland before offering a challenge to the retired boxer if he really wants to settle things once and for all.

“He’s talking enough s–t. I know he’s stuck for some money,” McGregor said about Malignaggi (via the Daily Star). “I know he’s looking for a fight. He talking about balls [and saying] ‘bring your balls’, do this and do that.

“Bring your balls for a fight — in a real fight.”

Of course, Malignaggi has continued his tirade against McGregor with a series of posts on social media that haven’t slowed down much since the fight with Mayweather ended.

While it appears McGregor is putting boxing on hold for now, the chances that Malignaggi would sign up to meet him in a mixed martial arts fight seem rather slim.

Still, McGregor threw out the challenge if Malignaggi really wants to settle the score with him…inside the Octagon.

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.