"Any time he's in the ring, he's trying to make it as rough as possible."
Paulie Malignaggi, a retired, former two-weight boxing champion, has been sparring with Conor McGregor out in Las Vegas in preparation for McGregor's August 26th match against Floyd Mayweather.
Typically, sparring partners won't reveal what goes down in the ring behind closed doors, but Malignaggi recently spilled some details of his latest session with the UFC champ.
According to ESPN, Malignaggi says his recent 12-rounds with McGregor featured "lots of violence."
"Lot of violence," Malignaggi said. "I went in there to prove a point. I didn't like the fact I had to fly across the country on Monday, and they have me scheduled for 12 [rounds] on Tuesday. I thought it was a little bit of a setup.
"Usually all sparring is private. I show up at the UFC headquarters and [former owner, Lorenzo] Fertitta is there. [UFC president] Dana White is there. So, I'm thinking these guys are thinking they'll catch me right off the flight, set me up for him to look good in front of his audience. I didn't like that. I kind of went in with a chip on my shoulder."
Malginaggi also commented on McGregor's style of fighting, which he describes, "he's trying to make it as rough as possible."
"Conor wants his presence to be felt. He's coming to win, right?" Malignaggi said. "He wants you to know you're in a fight. He doesn't want you to think it's a picnic. So, any time he's in the ring, he's trying to make it as rough as possible -- be it roughhouse tactics, be it trying to land hard shots.
"There was a pushdown yesterday. Conor on the inside, he can get a little rough. He shoved me down, you know, but no knockdowns. Obviously, 12 rounds, you're gonna see there's a mark on my face. Very, very hard work for both of us. I was starting to get in a groove in the middle rounds, starting to land some good shots. Conor really came on strong in the end. It was back and forth."
The former champ say she plans on continuing his work with McGregor up until the big fight later this month, though he doesn't think the two will be best friends anytime soon.
"I don't think we're going to be best friends any time soon, but there was a lot more mutual respect after that kind of work last night," Malignaggi said. "It was a lot more intense than the first one."