Conor McGregor’s teammate Artem Lobov has been spat on by bare knuckle fighting rival Paul Malignaggi in another spiteful chapter to their explosive blood feud.
Just six weeks since Malignaggi sensationally “b***slapped” Lobov in a dramatic showdown inside a Mississippi gym, the pair have needed to be pulled away from each other again after throwing punches and threats during another promotional press conference.
Lobov and Malignaggi will finally be able to legally swing at each other when they square off in the Bare Knuckle Fight Club June 22 event at the Florida State Fairgrounds Entertainment Hall.
They’ve already come to blows twice during promotional events — and the bad blood appears completely out of control.
Malignaggi smacked Lobov on the head with a microphone during the press conference and then spat at him during their stand-off in front of the cameras.
The press conference, held in New York, was flooded with security but it wasn’t enough to keep the two sluggers away from each other.
It all reached boiling point when Malignaggi was handed the microphone and proceeded to taunt Lobov.
“Why do you allow slaps? Why do you allow me to slap you,” he said.
Lobov then stood up from his seat with just two security guards standing between him and his rival. As Lobov moved to advance on Malignaggi both security staff stuck out arms to intercept the brawlers. In the blink of an eye, Malignaggi was able to reach across the two security guards and bonk Lobov on his noggin with the microphone — only further enraging the Russian fighter.
As the dust settled and the pair (and their camps) were cleared away from each other, Malignaggi continued talking into the microphone.
“You don’t make threats. You don’t make threats, OK? There’s a reason we can’t stand next to each other right now.”
From there, Malignaggi continued to rage into the microphone, slamming Lobov, McGregor and their entire Dublin-based MMA team.
“Get a good look at this guy’s face right now. Get a good look because when I finish with him it’s going to be looking like a road map,” Malignaggi said.
“His scars are not going to go away.”
Malignaggi also took another shot at Lobov’s megastar training partner — former UFC champion McGregor, saying he did not fear Lobov because he’d already “smacked the s*** out of the biggest name” in UFC.
Malignaggi has had a war of words since McGregor released training video of him knocking Malignaggi down during boxing sparring sessions ahead of his famous boxing debut against Floyd Mayweather.
Malignaggi also proceeded to declare he was going to put Lobov in a “coma” during their fight.
“He’s a piece of s***,” Malignaggi said.
“You and your whole crew are just a piece of s*** and I’m going to treat you like the dirtbag that you are. When I finish you I’m going to spit on you. I’m going to take out my d*** and p*** on you.
“I’m going to take out my d*** after I knock your teeth out and I’m going to p*** in your mouth.
“I’m done with this, you got five weeks to live motherf***er.”
It then got even more heated suring the stand-off.
As they traded more heated words in front of the cameras, Malignaggi prepared to strike after Lobov waved a finger in his face.
“Don’t point that finger at me. Last time it got you smacked,” he said.
Lobov was then in the middle of responding to him when Malignaggi tried to spit at him.
“I will point my finger wherever I want,” Lobov said before the spit flew towards him.
The pair exchanged heated words in front of cameras before Malignaggi whipped an open hand across Lobov’s right cheek — almost exactly 12 months since Lobov was sensationally slapped by UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, sparking one of the UFC’s most turbulent and dramatic feuds.
Malignaggi was dragged away by former UFC star Anthony “Rumble” Johnson — who has also recently moved to the BKFC.
It didn’t stop Malignaggi from continuing to sledge Lobov from the other side of the room.
“You b****. Next time it’s a harder slap,” he said.
“That was a b**** slap for a b****. Next time I’m going to slap you like the real b**** that you are. Don’t get in my face and make threats here. I got in your face to promote. Don’t make threats here because I’ll f*** you up here, OK. Next time, I’ll smack the s*** out of you for real.
“You’re on a death wish bro. You’re on a death wish. I’m going to put you in a body bag.
I’m going to f***ing kill you.”
The pair then continued to trade barbs on social media and through media interviews later in the day.
“He just got a little cheap shot in,” Lobov told MMA Fighting.
“That’s the only way he can f***ing get hands on me — a cheap shot. But whatever. F*** it. “Does he think that’s gonna upset me? I’m a f***ing fighter. I walk through head kicks, you think I’m gonna give a f*** about that?”
He said the slap is the hardest shot Malignaggi will ever land on him.
“He has no knockout power, his hands are fragile, always f***ing broken,” he said.
“He’s old now and fat and lazy. The only reason he’s coming back is because he’s broke as f***. So what is there to fear? That’s it — nothing.”