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McGregor will look to be disqualified against Mayweather says Malignaggi

By Jim Dower: Paulie Malignaggi suspects UFC champion Conor McGregor will look to take the easy way out against boxing star Floyd Mayweather Jr. (49-0, 26 KOs) by attempting to be disqualified this Saturday night in their fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Malignaggi, who recently sparred with McGregor for 2 sparring sessions, says there was very little to compliment the 29-year-old UFC star about when it comes to the skills that he showed inside the ring.

Malignaggi rated McGregor as a bad boxer with no ability other than his intensity. Malignaggi feels that McGregor won’t risk being disqualified against Mayweather by using MMA tactics like kicks or using knees, because that would mean him losing much of his purse for the fight. Malignaggi sees McGregor using boxing fouls like rabbit punches to the back of the head to get disqualified. Once McGregor is disqualified, he can make a big deal out of it, and his loyal fans will get excited about that.

The main point would be for McGregor to avoid being seen getting embarrassed by Mayweather, as that might hurt his popularity as a fighter. McGregor intends on going back to the UFC after his event with Mayweather. It’s important that McGregor remain popular with the MMA fans. One way for McGregor to do that is to lose to Mayweather by disqualification rather than by being knocked out or otherwise humiliated in a one-sided 12 round fight. Mayweather has a way of badly embarrassing his opposition with the way he out-boxes them and makes them look limited.

”He won’t kick or knee as that will cost him his whole purse, but the subtle fouls, the rabbit punching, he will go to those and look for a way out,” said Malignaggi to about McGregor. “To say ‘I quit’ brings a lot of criticism, but to get disqualified and say the ref was unfair and harsh, in denial fans will jump on that.”

What Malignaggi says about McGregor looking to take the easy way out by fouling intentionally to get disqualified against Mayweather resonates with the opinion that many boxing and MMA fans have about how this fight will play out. They see McGregor not wanting to risk having his career implode by letting Mayweather humiliate him or knock him out. McGregor is only 29, and he has at least 5 good years left as a marketable UFC fighter.

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If he gets embarrassed by Mayweather, he could lose a lot of his loyal fans. It would take a long time for the fans to forget the image of McGregor being destroyed physically and mentally by Mayweather. It would probably be a good idea for McGregor to retire after his fight, considering how his reputation will be so badly tarnished. Of course, the way McGregor can avoid that from happening is if he does what Malignaggi says and intentionally gets disqualified by fouling Mayweather with rabbit punches and/or low blows. They can’t take McGregor’s purse from him for those fouls, because those aren’t UFC/MMA tactics. Those are things that regular boxers use when fouling their opponents.

“It’s very hard to find nice things to say about his skills, perhaps his best attribute is his intensity, but he has to do it cleanly. He pushes down and rabbit punches a lot and those are things that can get you disqualified,” said Malignaggi about McGregor.

It would be a real shame for all the boxing and MMA fans that spent money purchasing tickets and ordering the Mayweather-McGregor fight to see it live or on PPV for the match to end on disqualification. I think it would be a kick in the shins for the sport of boxing. If the fans think McGregor was looking for an intentional way out of the Mayweather fight, you can bet those same fans won’t be back in the future to purchase other boxing events. Why would they? If they don’t trust that the fights will be on the level with it being a real fight where both guys are willing to go down swinging, then they’re not going to want to give their money to order other fights. That’s why it’s not a good idea to make mismatches like this.

Sticking someone in a sport without years of training in that sport is asking for trouble. Could you imagine NFL fans paying top dollar to see an unskilled person like McGregor inserted into the quarterback position for the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl? Without years of football experience, McGregor would look like a fool out there on the field, and the Patriots would get stomped. It’s the same thing with boxing. Without years of experience inside the ring, McGregor is going to look like a clown in the ring on Saturday night against Mayweather, and the fans are paying to see this fight thinking it’s going to be entertaining.

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It won’t be unless Mayweather purposefully fights underneath his ability to make it competitive for the sake of fans. Would Mayweather do that? All you need to do is look at Mayweather’s last fight against Andre Berto to get an answer to that question. Mayweather fought the entire 12 round fight against Berto in 1st gear, looking lazy, bored and clowning to the boxing fans. It was so sad to watch. People had paid to see Mayweather fight handpicked opponent that HE wanted to fight instead of facing the relevant talents at 147 like Keith Thurman. That’s who the fans wanted Mayweather to fight, not a guy from the past in Berto, who left his prime behind in 2010.

”He’s not the gutsiest guy when you push him back and put him in tough situations,” said Malignaggi in talking about McGregor. ”When things aren’t going his way, there’s a bit of fold in him.”

Malignaggi brings up how McGregor seemed to mentally quit in his first fight against Nate Diaz in the UFC when he choose to take the fight to the matt after being worked over by Diaz’s superior striking ability when the two fighters were standing and trading. Diaz is a far better grappler than McGregor. So when McGregor decided to take it to the ground, he was basically folding and letting the fans and Diaz know that he didn’t want to continue. Diaz quickly put McGregor in a rear-naked choke and he tapped out in round 2 of their fight in UFC 196 on March 5, 2016.

Diaz was so much better than McGregor when the two of them were on their feet. It was clear to all that McGregor wanted no part of Diaz. McGregor taking the fight to the ground was essentially a sign that he was folding and wanted out of the fight. Malignaggi feels that McGregor will quit again when the going gets tough against Mayweather on Saturday night. But instead of McGregor quitting on his stool or taking a knee, he’ll choose to foul his way out of the fight, according to Malignaggi.

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It would be a real disappointment to the many fans that purchase the Mayweather-McGregor fight if it doesn’t end in an exciting manner with one of the two fighters being knocked out. That’s what the boxing and MMA fans want to see take place. They don’t’ want to see McGregor being disqualified for fouling, and they don’t want to see him quit either. But all you need to do to predict the future for McGregor is look into his recent past when he was met with adversity against Diaz. McGregor quit by taking the fight to the ground, where he’s not highly skilled. In McGregor’s rematch with Diaz at UFC 202, he won a highly controversial 5 round majority decision on August 20, 2016. Diaz looked like the better fighter of the two, but the judges gave it to McGregor. Controversial decisions aren’t just isolated to the sport of boxing. You get those in the UFC as well. It’s interesting that a highly popular fighter like McGregor is given the nod of a less popular fighter.

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