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Paulie Malignaggi signs with Bare Knuckle FC, eyes Artem Lobov fight

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Paulie Malignaggi wanted Conor McGregor but he might just settle for his teammate.

Paulie Malignaggi Artem Lobov Bare Knuckle Boxing Conor McGregor Photo by James Chance/Getty Images

The world of combat sports is experiencing more cross-overs than an Avengers movie and Paulie Malignaggi is the latest to make the switch.

“The Magic Man” has signed an exclusive deal with Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship. “BKFC is the new wave in combat sports. They’re doing great things and I’m excited to be part of this organiation,” Malignaggi said in a press release. “I’ve accomplished some big things in [my] boxing career, and I look forward to what this next phase brings. After a long boxing career, it’s easy to miss the limelight and the rush that combat brings. I look forward to getting back in action and the new challenge of fighting for BKFC.

Malignaggi, 38, is reportedly eyeing a fight with Lobov, the latter of whom makes his BKFC debut against fellow UFC veteran Jason Knight on April 6. According to Helen Yee, the promotion hopes to book a fight between Malignaggi and Lobov should Lobov beat Knight.

The matchmaking makes perfect sense considering Malignaggi’s public feud with Lobov’s teammate Conor McGregor. Malignaggi and McGregor have beef dating back to the McGregor-Mayweather fight, when training sessions between the two men turned sour.

Malignaggi is without a doubt the most accomplished professional boxer to join this new wave of bare knuckle fighting. The durable boxer has previously held the IBF junior welterweight and the WBA welterweight titles. His notable fights include Miguel Cotto, Adrien Broner, and Vyacheslav Senchenko.