This weekend, in the main event of BKFC 6 in Tampa, Florida, former boxing champ Paulie Malignaggi will meet UFC veteran Artem Lobov in bare knuckle fight.
Given his accolades in the boxing arena, Malignaggi is expecting an easy night of work against his foe. And he’s thanking the “f**king stupid” MMA fans that support Lobov for helping to set this easy night of work up for him.
“I think of it like, thank god that this fan base in MMA is so f—king stupid that they actually have made this possible,” Paulie Malignaggi told MMA Fighting. “A fight this easy is possible in a main event situation. That’s how I look at it. I look at it in a thankful way. From that perspective I say yeah, I can’t believe I’m here. I’ve been in the ring with top fighters, main events inside stadiums and the biggest arenas in the world. I’ve been announced as a world champion. Believe me, it all goes through my mind. And now, I’m fighting this guy, who I don’t think has ever fought a guy who’s been a world champion, let alone fight for a title. So I catch myself and say I can only be thankful. There’s no way realistically possible to have a fight this easy against a bum of this level unless there is a fan base this stupid.”
This is not the first time Malignaggi has taken a shot at the MMA community. Speaking after last month’s BKFC 6 pre-fight press conference, the former boxing champ ripped MMA fans for the way they’ve disrespected the sport of boxing.
In the same interview with MMA Fighting, Paulie Malignaggi admitted that he is willing to squash his beef with Artem Lobov after the fight — so long as Lobov issues an apology, specifically for the way Malignaggi was portrayed by Lobov and Conor McGregor’s camp in 2017.
“I expect an apology and an admittance of the lies,” he said. “If I get that, there can be respect, no problem. We’re both men, and we should be up front as men. I’ve been nothing but up front. I think if there was mutual respect, he would admit all they did was lie and were hyping things. Then we could have respect and be cool about it. But if he keeps lying about it, I might beat his ass again after I’m done.”
What do you think will happen when Paulie Malignaggi and Artem Lobov collide this weekend?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 6/17/2019.