Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) is trying to tempt Conor McGregor by setting up a lucrative deal for the Irishman to fight Paulie Malignaggi. Initially, it was believed that the BKFC were looking for a fight with McGregor’s teammate Artem Lobov, but they are said to want the former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight champion.

Boxing journalist Michael Benson reported that the bare-knuckle boxing promotion was putting together a mega money offer to bring McGregor to fight against Malignaggi under bare-knuckle boxing rules. While talks still continue about a potential fight with Lobov later in the year.

“Told by Paulie Malignaggi that the BKFC are preparing a mega money offer to Conor McGregor for a bare-knuckle boxing match with him. He insists they have more money than people think and also confirmed it’s possible he could make his June debut against Artem Lobov,” Benson wrote.

BKFC signed Malignaggi, a two-division champion boxer, in 2019 and they have since been targeting a fight for him later this year. McGregor and Malignaggi were sparring partners when the Irishman was preparing for his boxing match against Floyd Mayweather, but the latter has been since pining to get into the squared circle with the UFC legend.

Conor McGregor
Conor McGregor could return to the Octagon later this year as negotiations continue. In this picture, McGregor before his match against Khabib Nurmagomedov in UFC 229 in Las Vegas, Oct. 6, 2018. Harry How/Getty Images

McGregor has a deal with the UFC and recently revealed that he was in negotiations with the promotion over returning to the octagon later this year. The Irishman’s last appearance in the octagon was in 2018 when he lost via submission to arch-rival Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Malignaggi is not backing down and is desperate to get into the ring with McGregor. He revealed BKFC has the financial might to match the paycheck the Irishman earned for his fight against Nurmagomedov. The 38-year-old American also taunted his rival by claiming it may not be the money that keeps McGregor away but the fear of getting a beat down.

“I think the only kind of fight that he can’t be matched (financially) is his fight with (Floyd) Mayweather. I think we’ll be able to make him an offer he didn’t even make for the Khabib fight. Let’s be honest, his base for the Khabib fight was only $3 million… but BKFC can match those numbers and make it worthwhile for him. Then, in the end, it’ll have to be worthwhile in that does he want to take an embarrassing defeat and catch a beating from me,” Malignaggi told Fight Sports TV.