The rumor of the day concerns UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor. According to MMAMania, they’re reporting that a sparring session left Conor McGregor knocked out. Below is the video that is being used as “proof” to confirm the “Conor McGregor knocked out in sparring” claim.
As you may know, McGregor is training for his upcoming superfight boxing match with Floyd Mayweather. Since it’ll be McGregor’s pro boxing debut, McGregor is bringing in known boxers to help him prepare. But really, was Conor McGregor knocked out in a sparring session?
I can safely say that this is 100% not true.
First off, it doesn’t take long to realize that the people in the video (Jessie Vargas and another man) don’t know much about McGregor. They’re basing everything off of hear-say, and likely have zero involvement in their camp. There is not any concrete evidence this sparring knockout.
Secondly, Vargas claims that Brandon Rios was the man to leave Conor McGregor knocked out. According to Vargas, the McGregor camp brought Rios in but had to push him away after he KO’d the Irishman. However, Brandon Rios has recently came out and said he has never even met Conor McGregor, let alone sparred with him. Listen to that here.
So what’s going on here?
Chances are, the boxing world (boxers, trainers, fans, etc.) are fabricating stories to try and squash this idea that an MMA fighter could ever have success in their sport. This is sad, but a little expected. After all, the contention that has been building ever since the announcement of Mayweather vs McGregor has turned hostile. You only need to look at the fan response to the MayMac press tour. While I thoroughly enjoyed the 4-day event, it had its fair share of down sides.
It also wouldn’t be the first time a fake story about Conor McGregor knocked out in sparring has came out. This happened before his lightweight title fight with Eddie Alvarez back in November, 2016. McGregor’s trainer, John Kavanagh had to refute the claims himself. McGregor went on to have a near-flawless performance against Alvarez.
What do we know?
I’m sure McGregor is having some hot sparring sessions. Kavanagh announced last week that they have been doing more sparring than ever before. But we know McGregor and his SBG teammates are all about smart training. They’re able to spar so often because the fighters know not to go 100%. Even the people McGregor brings in from outside the camp have to be vetted to ensure trust.
This backfired when Conor McGregor had a sparring session with South African pro boxer Chris Van Heerden. After the session, the McGregor published a highlight video of the session. The video essentially contained all the moments McGregor had success throughout the session. Van Heerden didn’t take too well to this and published the whole session which showed a much more competitive session. It’s safe to say Van Heerden won’t be called back to help McGregor prepare.
News broke a few weeks ago of who McGregor was going to be bringing in help him spar for Mayweather. Most names on the list weren’t of importance except one – Paulie Malignaggi. You may know Paulie from his own boxing career, or perhaps you know him from his commentating gigs. He joined Brendan Schaub, Mauro Renallo, and Brian Custer during the MayMac Tour to break down the events.
Apparently Malignaggi will be teaming up with the McGregor team when they move their camp to Vegas. I may be correct in thinking that this has either already happened, or will be happening this week. I know the plan was to do half the camp in Ireland, do the MayMac Tour, and then finish the camp in Vegas.
The Bottom Line
I don’t get why these false rumors even exist. I praise the people that sought out Brandon Rios and wanted to hear it from the horse’s mouth. The other sites that spread this rumor like wild fire – shame on you.
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