The acrimony between Malignaggi and longtime Conor McGregor training partner Lobov stems from the ill-fated sparring session that took place between "The Magic Man" and McGregor back in 2017. McGregor hired Malignaggi in preparation for his boxing match against undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather. An endless dispute over who bested whom has endured since that fateful day and recently spilled over into the world of bare knuckle fighting.
The aggrieved Malignaggi faced off with Lobov, 32, during a BKFC media day in New York, and after a tense exchange of words, slapped Lobov on the face. Verbal chaos ensued and now, the grudge match between Lobov and Malignaggi is bigger than even BKFC president David Feldman might have imagined.
Lobov, a former Ultimate Fighting Championship featherweight, holds an MMA record of 13-15-1, but under the BKFC flag is 1-0, winning an infamously bloody unanimous decision in his premiere appearance against Jason Knight.
Malignaggi, 38, a retired boxer and former world champion, will toe the line for the first time when he faces "The Russian Hammer" this summer in Tampa, Florida.
Also on the June 22 BKFC 6 card is a lightweight championship match between Reggie Barnett and Johnny Bedford. Chris Leben returns to the squared circle to face Brennan Ward.
BKFC event locations have so far been limited to only those states willing to sanction bare knuckle combat. The first event was held in Wyoming, while BKFC 2, 3, and 5 took place in Mississippi. Meanwhile, BKFC 4 traveled south to Cancun, Mexico. The venue for the promotion's Florida debut has yet to be determined.