Malignaggi fights McGregor, shortly after arriving on a cross-country flight. Their spar is described by Tiernan Bradley as a “full-on fight”. Bradley:
I was in Paulie’s corner and although he hasn’t fought since March and is retired, he’s getting sharper by the day. You can see he’s still a class operator, and it was an interesting spar to watch – more a full on fight actually. Conor told us all when Paulie came into camp ‘this is not a spar, I want to fight him. I’m ready for a war’.
We had 12 rounds of sparring last night. It was good work, hard work. I actually wasn’t too thrilled that they wanted me to go twelve rounds 24 hours after getting off a cross-country flight. Especially when I hadn’t worked all last week, so I wasn’t thrilled and I kinda came into the gym last night with a bit of a chip on my shoulder and the sparring got intense, it got heated. We went 12 hard rounds and I think I made my point last night I’ll say that. Basically, don’t f— with me. I’m here to help, I’m here to do the best I can for you guys, so don’t try to take advantage of me. Don’t try to make like you’re running a two-time world champion out of your camp or whatnot. Honestly I questioned last night whether I could go twelve rounds and the first five rounds of back-and-forth action, I wasn’t really sure I could go the full twelve. Then as we got to round six, he started fading a little bit and that’s when I really tried to dig in there and that’s when I said you know what I’m going to stay in here, I got a point to make tonight. I managed to last until about 12, but in rounds 11 and 12 he came back and put it on me. I just totally gassed out in the eleventh and twelfth. So we returned the favors to each other last night.