According to UFC superstar Conor McGregor, he wanted to teach Paulie Malignaggi a lesson when the two of them started sparring.
Malignaggi was hired by McGregor's team to serve as a sparring partner for the MMA fighter's upcoming boxing debut, against Floyd Mayweather Jr. (49-0, 26 KOs).
The contest between Mayweather and McGregor takes place on August 26th from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
But a few months before that fight was signed, Malignaggi called the contest a disgrace and said McGregor had zero business being in the ring with Mayweather.
Malignaggi quit McGregor's camp last week, after several images were leaked on social media of their most recent sparring session. The images showed Malignaggi taking punishment and down on the mat.
"He's a guy who is at the end of his career. I get the feeling that he feels the boxing game has betrayed him. Now he's retired. I don't what he expected after speaking what he was speaking. The things he was saying and even still I didn't disrespect him. I only released one picture [with my hands behind my back]," McGregor told MMA Fighting.
"I didn't release any connecting to the face shots. I didn't release him getting slapped around, because he did get slapped around. He got badly slapped around earlier. He got knocked down. He was badly hurt. The ropes kept him up multiple times. He was badly concussed. The sparring partners that were in the house were worried that night. They said he was incoherent, he was stumbling [in the house]. It didn't go good for him.
"You want to speak these things and then come in and try to answer for it - respect... because at the end of the day I respect that he came in and tried to answer for it and he did try his best - but he got his ass whooped, he got his ego dented and out he went out the door. An exit presented itself and he took it 100 miles an hour.
On Friday night, UFC President Dana White released video clips of that sparring session, which showed the knockdown and Malignaggi taking shots.
McGregor said the videos were clear proof that Malignaggi was knocked down and pushed to the mat.
"What was this. Does that look like a push? He was knocked down. I actually did him a favor, because of those punches from before that had him rattled and stumbling into the ropes. In my mind it was concussion talk [when he said I pushed him down]," McGregor said.