UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor is set to face Nate Diaz - at welterweight - in August at UFC 202. To help him prepare, he hasn't left his famed SBG Dublin camp or coach John Kavanagh. However, he has hired help.
For example, McGregor has brought in Marcelo Garcia-black belt Dillon Danis to assist with his overall grappling development and potentially more. Recently, McGregor sparred former IBO and IBF welterweight champion, South Africa's own Chris van Heerden.
Controversy ensued, however, when McGregor later posted the video of the two sparring online (which can be watched above). According to the 29-year-old van Heerden, McGregor is a very skilled competitor. "Conor comes with a boxing background. I was surprised how well he could handle it. His boxing is really not bad. I'd say after a full training camp where the focus is 100% boxing, he might just shock a lot of boxing fans," he told FightHype after the sparring session.
That said, van Heerden later took to Twitter to suggest McGregor's camp edited the footage to make the boxer look bad while McGregor appeared to often be getting the better of his sparring partner:
Upon reflection and fan backlash online, it appeared van Heerdan had a change of heart. Van Heerden, who lost his IBO title to Errol Spence in September 2015, would later delete the controversial tweet and, in fact, apologize for lashing out at McGregor:
After a Good Sleep you all made me think!! I Apologize for my Tweets should have kept it to myself Conor .M did me a Fav in the End #Sorry— Chris van Heerden (@TheHeat001) July 5, 2016
Diaz, like van Heerdan, is a southpaw, tall and rangy. McGregor and Diaz will face off in the main event of UFC 202 on August 20th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.