Paulie Malignaggi and Artem Lobov are both signed to bare-knuckle boxing promotion Bare Knuckle FC. The two fighters are not scheduled to face each other, but a scrap between the boxer and Conor McGregor training partner appears to be imminent.
During media day in New York City to promote the event, Malignaggi and Lobov stole the show with their own altercation.
In a video captured by MMA Junkie, Malignaggi can be seen confronting Lobov before slapping “The Russian Hammer” and nearly sparking a brawl before security intervened.
“You’re a (expletive)!” Malignaggi can be heard saying. “Next time it’s a harder slap! That was a (expletive) slap for a (expletive)! Don’t get in my face and make threats here! I got in your face to promote! Don’t get in my face and make threats here, because I’ll (expletive) you up here!”
You can watch the full altercation below.
WARNING: NSFW Language
By now, Malignaggi and Lobov are well acquainted. Malignaggi was a key sparring partner for McGregor while the former two-division UFC champion was preparing to face unbeaten boxer Floyd Mayweather. Of course, the relationship soured between Malignaggi and McGregor when McGregor released footage from their training that showed Malignaggi getting knocked down. Since then, there has been plenty of social media trolling and now Lobov has gotten caught up in the mix.
The Bare Knuckle FC event will take place Saturday, April 6 in Bioxi, Mississippi. Lobov is set to take on fellow UFC veteran Jason Knight. Malignaggi, meanwhile, is not set to appear inside of the Bare Knuckle FC ring until June against a yet-to-be determined opponent.