Retired boxer Paulie Malignaggi, who is one of Conor McGregor‘s chief doubters, unsurprisingly gives the Irishman little chance in his UFC 229 lightweight title fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov. Speaking on SiriusXM Boxing this week Malignaggi broke down McGregor’s fight with Nurmagomedov, using his 2016 loss to Nate Diaz as a key reference.
“Here’s the thing about Conor, I’ve said that he has no balls and he has a problem with this fight,” Malignaggi said (transcript via MMA Fighting). “Khabib is not a guy that will put you out of your misery. Remember the Nate Diaz fight, when he shot in on Nate Diaz and got submitted? Nate Diaz is a guy you don’t want to wind up on the ground with because he’s a black belt in jiu-jitsu and he’ll submit you right away. If you’re gonna fight Nate Diaz, you have to keep the fight standing up. In that fight against Nate Diaz though, he’s getting pummelled in round two and he’s probably gonna get pummelled for the rest of the fight, so what does he do? He needs a way out of it because he doesn’t want to get beat up for four straight rounds. So what does he do? He goes, ‘If I take this fight to the ground, Nate will submit me and then it won’t look like I quit.’ Because if you’re fighting Nate Diaz, common sense tells you that you don’t want to wind up on the ground. Conor is the one that took that fight to the ground. He shot in looking to take that fight to the ground. Why did he do that? Because he’s trying to quit. If Nate puts him in a submission, he can quit and then it looks like ‘Oh well, I had to tap out.’ But really the decision was made when he shot in that he was quitting already.”
“Now, Khabib is not a guy that’s known as a submission guy. Now, I’m not a mixed martial arts expert, but Khabib is more of a ground and pound guy, which means you don’t have the option to be submitted really because Khabib will just keep you on the ground and punish you and beat you and beat you and beat you. Now, granted, Conor has some skills standing up a little bit and maybe Khabib will have a hard time getting it to the ground, but if the fight ends up on the ground, it’s only a beating for Conor. So how is a guy with no balls gonna take a good beating for five rounds when he looks to quit as soon as he gets uncomfortable? That’s the question of the day really.”
“The fact is he’s gonna look for a way out of that fight too,” Paulie Malignaggi concluded. “Look at round five of the Diaz rematch, he’s literally running for his life. Who does that? With the fight hanging in the balance, who runs for the entire final round? He was given the decision in a close decision that could have went either way but who takes that chance though? These are all character flaws of a man with no balls. When you’re a fighter you can tell right away who has character and who doesn’t. The guy has none so he tries to play it up in other ways so he covers up the fact that he has no balls.”
What do you think of Paulie Malignaggi’s breakdown of Conor McGregor’s fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/14/2018.