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Midnight Mania! Boxer Chris van Heerden opens up on sparring McGregor: ‘I wasn’t fazed by his power’

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Welcome to Midnight Mania! Tonight we’ve got Chris Van Heerden talking his sparring session with Conor McGregor, big news for women’s featherweight, Team Alpha Male being Alpha weird, self defense advice, headbutt knockouts, and much more.

“He doesn’t have zero chance”

ESPN Sportscenter spoke with Chris Van Heerden this morning about the viral footage he posted of his sparring session with Conor McGregor that has had everyone talking recently.

He explained firstly, why he released the new footage:

“People are tweeting and talking, telling me that Floyd will have his hands full landing on Conor McGregor. I’m a professional fighter, a boxer, standing up for the sport and just making it really clear, don’t be ridiculous, if I could land, don’t tell me Floyd Mayweather’s not going to land.”

Van Heerden says he is ranked number 11 in the world by the WBA, and has held world titles in the past. The last time he sparred McGregor was a year ago, and van Heerden admits McGregor may have gotten better since then.

“Look, McGregor is a phenomenal athlete. He is ruling the UFC. Abosolutely, I believe he did put in training and he is still putting in training. Yes, he got better. Definitely better. I’m not saying he’s bad, I’m just laying it out as is.”

Of course, the clip by van Heerden isn’t the only footage online of the two sparring. McGregor was the first to leak more competitive footage, a year ago.

Most aren’t arguing Conor is a better boxer than Floyd. The argument most McGregor proponents seem to be putting faith in is the power in McGregor’s left hand. Does van Heerden think McGregor has the one shot power to put Mayweather away?

“It would be ridiculous for me to say he has no opportunity, he has no chance. Yes, he has a slight chance of pulling it off. He’s a fighter, he’s a mixed martial artist. He can land one big punch. It can happen, this is fighting, it’s two men in a ring. The opportunity is there. He doesn’t have a zero chance of beating, of causing the biggest upset in the sport. Yes, he has. But in my opinion, and I’m gonna stick by it, there is no way he’s beating Mayweather.”

But, contend the McGregor apologists, McGregor is a southpaw. Mayweather has historically had some trouble with southpaws, despite remaining undefeated against the ones he did face, most notably Manny Pacquiao.

Van Heerden is a left-handed fighter himself, and has some thoughts on that.

“I’m a southpaw, I love southpaw, southpaws always have a big advantage. I have nothing but respect for McGregor. There’s no bad blood. I think he’s phenomenal. Being a southpaw, it’s going to work in his favor. He’s got the power to do it. I wasn’t fazed by his power, I wasn’t hurt. But then again, we didn’t have ten ounce gloves on, and, you know, he’s got some small chance of causing an upset.”

He also wanted to clear up what his relationship with McGregor was- not a paid sparring partner, but someone who saw an opportunity in Conor’s name and stepped in to help. He says even a year ago, he had a feeling McGregor would end up boxing Mayweather at some point.

“At the time, I was helping McGregor, I knew it was for the rematch with Nate Diaz, and the talks just started off, with the Conor McGregor [Floyd Mayweather] scene.

“I’m not a sparring partner. I wasn’t part of the camp. I wasn’t paid to help McGregor... I helped him because I saw the platform. I knew the Conor McGregor-Mayweather thing was gonna pull off, because the energy, the vibes, it was gonna happen. I took the advantage.”

At 25-2-1, 11 in last 12, Chris van Heerden is no slouch. Just like any number of UFC fighters lobbying for the opportunity to box on the undercard of the historic event, he wants his shot as well, calling out the WBA champion at the end of his interview.

“I’m a welterweight fighter. I’m rated number 11 by the WBA. I want to be on that card. I feel I deserve a shot to be on that card, and I want to fight Lamont Peterson, the WBA world champion. He’s sitting on the couch; if he wants to get off the couch, accept my challenge. I will bring my own purse to the fight, I just want to fight on that card.”

Is Brendan Schaub crazy for thinking McGregor wins a round off Floyd Mayweather?

The last guy to box Floyd describes what it’s like:


Big news for women’s featherweight- if it happens, this means the whole charade with Germaine de Randamie will be over, and two actual featherweights will take their Invicta hardware to the UFC for good.

Wow. Just wow.

This is useful self defense information.

Did you know the Kovalev-Ward rematch is tomorrow? I sure didn’t.



Slips, Rips, and Knockout Clips

Headbutts are another level of violence

“At least he tried”

Vorpal elbows

Good question

Good Reads

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  • This is a good take from Patrick Wyman on McGregor-Mayweather
  • Complete UFC Fight Night 111 previews and predictions

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