Conor McGregor’s fans are already preparing excuses for why he will lose to Dustin Poirier in their trilogy fight next weekend, according to Paulie Malignaggi.
Former boxing world champion Malignaggi is one of McGregor’s harshest critics after the pair sparred in the leaed-up to his ring debut against Floyd Mayweather in 2017.
And he believes the Irishman will be beaten at UFC 264 on July 10, but that it won’t matter to his supporters, who are beginning to put together excuses for their favourite fighter.
“See Conor’s fans… It’s like it is always win-win for Conor,” Malignaggi explained to reporter Helen Yee. “It is amazing what he has done really.
“You know, he can win and people will be like ‘Oh he’s back’, and then he can get his ass kicked and people will say ‘Oh he’s not focused’.
“It’s always win-win for Conor. So does it really matter? I mean the guy could lose every fight and they will all still have an excuse for him.”
Malignaggi and McGregor’s rivalry is a heated one, and the former fighter believes that McGregor’s business dealings will be used as a reason for a weak performance should he lose to Poirier next weekend.
“You know I think he is probably going to get his a** kicked again,” Malignaggi continued. “But that’s OK, because they will tell you that he wasn’t focused again.
“They will tell you it is because he just sold his Whiskey for like what $600million? They will tell you it is because of that and they will tell you he wasn’t focused because he was too busy finishing deals – the entrepreneur himself.
“So this way he will get another fight with somebody else and they will watch it again.”
Malignaggi has consistently called out McGregor for a rematch of their 2017 sparring session, claiming he would handily beat the Irishman.
But the closest he got was a 2019 bare knuckle boxing match with McGregor’s long-time friend and training partner Artem Lobov, which he lost by split decision.
“I’ve been busy putting in the work, full focused, fully immersed in Mixed Martial Arts, there’s been nothing but Mixed Martial Arts – I’m ready to put on a show,” McGregor said recently.
The Irishman has even left his family at home, including new-born Rian, so that he could become a ‘wild dog’ before his return to the octagon.
Replying to a question about training his son Conor Jr to fight, McGregor made the admission that he would be fighting away from his fiancee Dee Devlin and children Conor, Rian and Croia.
“I am going to do this fight away from the family,” McGregor said during a Q&A last month on Twitter.
“For a change. Fights and boppies and cuddles is a hard one to balance, I’m going into this one a wild dog.”