Former two-division boxing champion Paulie Malignaggi makes his debut at Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship this coming Saturday against Conor McGregor’s teammate Artem Lobov in the main event of BKFC 6: The Line Is Drawn.
The event airs live on pay-per-view from the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall in Tampa, Florida.
“My training camp has been really good. We started in New York, went to California for a few weeks, then back to New York, and now Miami. It’s been a traveling training camp and that’s what’s made it fun. It can become tedious being in the same spot and doing the same things over and over again. We’ve tried different things, while also sticking with our basics. I’m up to par both mentally and physically,” Malignaggi said. “This is going to be a painful night for Artem. This is a world-class fighter against a punching bag with feet. He’s going to be very stubborn, but he’s going to get hit nonetheless. I think you’re going to see that I’m a different class of fighter. I’ve been a champion and I’ve been in the ring with many champions. He doesn’t have that experience. You’ll see what difference that makes on fight night.
“This would be another feather in my hat to get this win. I’m taking part in a new kind of combat and it would show that I can be successful and victorious in anything I put my mind to.”
After coming in to help McGregor prepare for Floyd Mayweather, the war between Team Malignaggi and Team McGregor escalated – reaching a boiling point when both the former boxer and Lobov signed with BKFC to settle their differences.
“To prepare for Artem I hit the punching bag a lot more, because Artem is basically a punching bag with legs. I wanted to get used to that and get my fists accustomed to it. We’ve also done some other things to be prepared specifically for my bare knuckle debut,” Malignaggi said. “We’re just making our final preparations now and doing the final overview of our game plan. We’re already sharp and we’re maintaining it. We’ll make a full-on decision soon about the approach we’ll take into the fight.”
The card also is set to feature Chris Leben vs. Dakota Cochrane and Reggie Barnett vs. Johnny Bedford to crown a lightweight champion.
Tickets for “BKFC 6: The Line Is Drawn” are available now exclusively at www.bareknuckle.tv. Florida will become the latest state to host a BKFC event after previous contests have been held in Wyoming and Mississippi, plus an event that took place in Cancun, Mexico.