Footage has emerged of Conor McGregor knocking down former sparring partner Paulie Malignaggi in the build-up to his fight with Floyd Mayweather.
Malignaggi quit the McGregor camp after a photograph emerged on social media that implied he had hit the canvas in a session, while the American boxer insisted he had been pushed rather than punched.
But UFC chief Dana White posted videos on Twitter on Saturday morning showing that McGregor actually punched Malignaggi, knocking him down.
Footage has emerged of Conor McGregor knocking down Paulie Malignaggi during sparring
Malignaggi and McGregor were sparring partners for a week and have been arguing ever since
Malignaggi previously said he had ‘beat the breaks off’ McGregor and that he was pushed over
But a video posted by UFC chief Dana White shows Malignaggi being floored by a punch
White accompanied one of the Twitter videos with the words: ‘Here is the video everyone wanted to see of Conor vs Paulie Malignaggi’.
The UFC boss suggested this footage indicates that McGregor, 29, has what it takes go toe-to-toe with 40-year-old boxing legend Mayweather on August 26.
‘This is gonna be a FIGHT!’, wrote White.
But Malignaggi swiftly hit back and challenged White’s video.
The 36-year-old went on a Twitter spree, during which he claimed that Joe Cortez, who was referring the behind-closed-doors warm-up fight, had called ‘no knockdown’.
Malignaggi went on to accuse White of cutting the footage to push his own pro-McGregor agenda.
Malignaggi wrote: ‘Come on, If it didn’t kill the narrative they wouldn’t have cut out the vid that fast as to not hear the refs call of it lol.’
He added: ‘I mean even tonights (sic) highlights showed what I and already said, as a whole he got his ass beat that session but never will they release’.
The video leak comes just two weeks before McGregor’s first ever professional boxing fight, which is expected to generate more than £467million, despite many viewing it as a complete mismatch.
McGregor has youth on his side, but the inexperienced Irishman is up against a man who has won all 49 of his pro bouts, barely taking a punch in the process.
McGregor did an open workout earlier this week at the UFC Performance Institute in Nevada.
He arrived in a green Lamborghini before taking to the heavy bags.
McGregor arrived at an open workout in Nevada in a green Lamborghini earlier this week
He looked in good shape as he took to the heavy bags in front of a crowd full of cameras
McGregor has predicted that he will beat Mayweather inside four rounds on August 26
‘This is a fight that’s been in my cross-hairs since Floyd has been opening his mouth,’ McGregor said during the workout.
‘Not necessarily since he’s been speaking my name, since he’s been speaking ill about Mixed Martial Arts. He’s spoken badly about the sport multiple times.’
Meanwhile, McGregor’s opponent has been working out at the Mayweather Boxing Club this week.
During a press event, Mayweather said that the fight will just be ‘another day’ for him and that he is not at all fazed by the confidence of McGregor, who has predicted a win inside four rounds.
The American said: ‘My opponent is always confident, but it’s different being in there with Floyd Mayweather. They realise that this is real.’
But the undefeated Mayweather told the media he is not worried by McGregor’s confidence
‘My opponent is always confident’, Mayweather said when asked about McGregor’s prediction