FRIDAY NEWS DIGEST 8/4: Conor McGregor upsets Malignaggi, Sonnen targeting Liddell, Bob Sapp, Dandios out, Tim Duncan

By Cole Henry, MMATorch contributor

Conor McGregor (photo credit Gary A. Vasquez © USA Today Sports)

Paulie Malignaggi quits McGregor camp

It appears as though things are not all well in McGregor/Malignaggi world. Paulie Malignaggi was a very vocal critic of Conor McGregor when it was first announced that he would be facing Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match, so it was a bit of a surprise when it was announced that he would in fact be helping the Irishman in his camp. Despite working together, the two still seemed to trade the occasional barbs through the media. Now it appears that a recent antic by the McGregor camp crossed the line, at least in Malignaggi’s eyes. A photo was posted that seemed to show the aftermath of McGregor knocking Malignaggi to the ground. Malignaggi claims that the photo was taken out of context, and he now feels exploited by the McGregor camp.

Malignaggi talked about the session in detail on Twitter. He urged the UFC to release the full video of the sparring session, something that is highly unlikely to happen until at least after the fight. Malignaggi comes off as pretty bitter on Twitter, but if his story is true I guess that’s an understandable reaction.

Henry’s Analysis: Hard to say what’s really going on in the picture and, honestly, I’m not sure that it really matters. Malignaggi has the right to be upset if what he claims is true, but he should have had an idea that something like this could happen. The McGregor camp is all about pre-fight antics, so this isn’t much of a surprise.


I wrote earlier in the week about former NBA All-Star Tim Duncan taking up kickboxing now that his NBA career is over. It seems as though he actually took up the sport about nine years ago, and he is so good that his coach actually thinks that he could be a successful pro. While it seems unlikely that Duncan ever actually competes, it’s still cool to see guys of his stature taking up martial arts as a hobby, at the very least.

According to Chael Sonnen, things are about to get ice cold in Bellator. The outspoken Sonnen has stated that he expects his next opponent to be “The Iceman” Chuck Liddell. Rumors have swirled for months that Liddell was considering a comeback, but this is the closest we have seen to any actual fight booking. Now, just to be clear, this fight has not been booked, nor has Bellator even commented on the matter, but surely Sonnen has a purpose for brining Liddell up in conversation. Are these two really going to fight, or is Sonnen simply trying to goad the legend into what could be a big money fight? I guess we will have to wait and see, but this matchup is as good as any for either man at this point.

Cindy Dandois has been released from the UFC after just one appearance. She debuted in a losing effort against former title challenger Sarah Kaufman. Dandois holds notable wins over Marlos Coenen and Megan Anderson so she shouldn’t be on the free agent market for very long. This release comes as a bit of a surprise because Dandois has competed at featherweight and that is a very shallow division for the UFC right now.

-Bob Sapp fights in France tonight. He will be fighting Grey Tony in a fight that will surely not be worth watching. I’m not even sure why I am writing about this… but yeah… Bob Sapp fights tonight.


Christian Columbo vs. Carlos Felipe – UFC Fight Night, Oct. 28 in San Paulo, Brazil

NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: THURSDAY NEWS DIGEST 8/3: Woodley against an interim title, Florian’s idea for Woodley, Boxer evaluates Conor’s power, Snoop Dogg on Marquez KO, Stipe-Boxing

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