Dana White: Paulie Malignaggi received an ‘absolute beating’ from Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor can definitely box.

That’s the message from UFC president Dana White after he witnessed first hand as McGregor faced off with former two-division boxing champ Paulie Malignaggi in a sparring session just recently.

The hotly contested sparring match has led to Malignaggi lashing out against McGregor after a few photos were leaked from the training session that made it look like the UFC champion was having his way with him.

The back and forth exchanges in interviews eventually led White to release two small clips from the sparring session including one video that shows McGregor landing a short punch that puts Malignaggi on the ground.

Malignaggi has argued that slowing down the video shows that it was McGregor’s arm on the back of his neck that forced him onto the mat rather than the uppercut that followed.

Regardless, White says the video is just a shorter version of what unfolded for 36 minutes as McGregor pounded on Malignaggi throughout their sparring session held at the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas.

“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 told Sky Sports on Monday. “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.”

Just days after the sparring session ended, Malignaggi left McGregor’s camp due to the dispute over the photos being released not to mention the condition of the accommodations where the UFC champion was putting up his training partners.

White claims that it was probably better for Malignaggi to leave when he did or he could have risked serious harm from continued sparring sessions with McGregor.

“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.”

Ever since White released the two short clips from the training session, Malignaggi has asked repeatedly for the full video to be released so fans could judge for themselves who got the better of the exchanges.

White promises he would absolutely release the full video but not until after McGregor’s fight with Mayweather on Aug. 26.

“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.”

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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.