Artem Lobov may have won his bare knuckle fighting debut earlier this month by defeating the rugged Jason Knight. But, according to Paulie Malignaggi, what he saw out of the UFC was so bad, he’s worried he’s going to seriously injure Lobov when they throw hands.

Before Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship 5 went down, the promotion announced that if Lobov won, he would face Malignaggi later this year. The promotional angle being that Lobov is a buddy and teammate of Conor McGregor, who Malignaggi has some serious issues with.

Well, recently Malignaggi spoke with Helen Yee, and the decorated boxer had this to say about Lobov’s performance at BKFC 5 (quotes via MMA Fighting):

“I thought it was an exciting fight, but honestly, it made me wonder how I’m not gonna hurt this guy,” Malignaggi said. “I have to really wonder, I have to really be worried that I’m gonna hurt this guy badly. He’s very, very limited. It was a pitiful, pitiful display. It was exciting, but it was a pitiful display of combat sports ability and skills.

“The reason I was uncharacteristically quiet [afterwards] is because I thought the promotion was definitely ruined. I thought that now people would know just how bad he is, just how limited he is, and no one would want to watch this fight. But thank God for the dumbest fans in the world. Mixed Martial Arts fans always come through, and when I started seeing the comments on social media I thought, ‘Thank God they exist because if not for these people, this fight would not be able to sell.’ Anybody with a brain understands this is a very big mismatch.”

“…“I’m telling you right now, if they don’t pull him out of this fight in the correct way, he’s going to get hurt. He’s going to get permanently hurt. This is actually a very professional fighter against a guy who basically belongs in a tough-man show.”

Now, chances are most people believe Lobov’s going to be badly outgunned when he faces Malignaggi. After all, the latter was a world class boxer. But, bare knuckle fighting isn’t the same as boxing. So, it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Recently it was reported that Lobov – Malignaggi will take place on June 22nd at a BKFC card in New Hampshire. The city and venue for the event, however, has not been determined yet.

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