As speculation mounts over who Conor McGregor's next opponent will be, UFC president Dana White just made very clear who it won't be: Former two-weight boxing world champion Paulie Malignaggi.
McGregor and sparring partner Malignaggi carried out a beef in the build-up to the UFC megastar's fight against Floyd Mayweather, after a bust-up over the public release of practice pictures and footage. Malignaggi was shown eating a big punch and also taking what may or may not have been a knockdown, leaving him to rage that the sparring session had been totally misrepresented.
Malignaggi has since claimed that his manager Al Haymon and Dana White were in talks to make a fight with McGregor happen, and that the only way the bout wouldn't get made was if the Irishman had "no balls".
White slammed that claim and also attacked Malignaggi over his sparring performance, saying McGregor had given him a beatdown.
"Do you think people really want to see Conor versus Paulie Malignaggi?" White said on the Real Quick With Mike Swick podcast.
"People want to see Conor fight in MMA. That's what they want to see. Listen, the Mayweather thing was a one off f***ing crazy deal but this is where he belongs. This is the sport he is in. This is the sport he excels in and he's the world champion. This is where he needs to be.
"Let me ask you a question. Why did Paulie Malignaggi get up and walk out of camp after two sparring sessions? Because it was the right f***ing thing to do. Because he was going to get hurt. Because he was gonna take damage that would affect him for the rest of his life that he didn't need to f***ing take.
"It's not like they were paying him big money or he had a f***ing fight coming up himself. Paulie Malignaggi got up and left camp and he f***ing should have got up and left camp because Conor was going to f***ing hurt him badly.
"It's no disrespect to the guy. It's a f***ing fact. I was there. I watched the f***ing whole sparring session. That guy needed to go home and he needed to leave Las Vegas and not go through another of those sparring sessions."
White, who released two video clips of the sparring session, has also poured cold water on a McGregor vs Nate Diaz trilogy fight - meaning all signs are pointing towards the UFC doing the right thing and having the lightweight champion face the interim 155-pound champ Tony Ferguson.
While Ferguson just won the interim belt with a submission win over Kevin Lee, McGregor claimed the main strap way back in November last year, when he took a historic knockout win over Eddie Alvarez at Madison Square Garden.