Paulie Malignaggi and Artem Lobov have definitely set the table for a future fight between the two.

During a media event in New York on Tuesday, the two Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship competitors nearly came to blows before being separated by officials including former UFC title contender Anthony Johnson.

The backstory between Malignaggi and Lobov involves Conor McGregor, as McGregor brought in Malignaggi for training sessions ahead of his bout with Floyd Mayweather. Lobov and McGregor are teammates and close friends.

Lobov makes his debut for the promotion on Saturday when the takes on Jason Knight in the main event of BKFC 5: Lobov vs. Knight.

“I’m a real fighter and I’m going to fight Paulie in a real fight. I want to make money for it. He knows I’m down. If you’re a real fighter, let’s fight in the ring,” Lobov said. “Let’s be honest, Paulie doesn’t want to fight me on the street, because he knows I’d tear him apart in seconds. But I want to prove myself in the boxing ring. That’s why I’m doing this. I want Paulie safe until the day I can finally put my hands on him.

“I’m here to fight on Saturday night. I’m a true fighter. No one will ever make me quit. I don’t care about anything that Paulie can do to me. Paulie was always the fight I wanted. It’s ‘night night’ for Jason Knight this Saturday, then it’s on to Paulie. That’s the only fight I want. He deserves to get slapped around.”

Malignaggi, a former boxing champion, signed with BKFC with the plan to provide commentary. That, though, has changed for the fighter.

“Without disrespecting Jason Knight, because we’ll see what happens Saturday, but I think everyone here would like to see Malignaggi vs. Lobov. I see that it’s picking up traction and fans in general are talking about it,” he said. “When I get Lobov in the ring, the goal is not just to win. I have to really excel and show something more. The goal would be to hurt him bad.

“I started talking to David Feldman first about being involved on the broadcast aspect of BKFC. But then he threw out numbers for me to fight that got my attention. Once we got past that first part of the conversation, things started moving along and here we are.

“Being in the gym every day gets me excited. In that way, I feel mentally reborn. I’m sure there will be tough days, but that’s par for the course. I think mentally you can find motivation that will spur you on to chase certain goals.”

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