It's not often that a sparring partner will make his own agenda known (or necessarily even have one) after working with a famous fighter, but then again former IBO & IBF welterweight champion Chris Van Heerden isn't quite your average MMA sparring partner.
In an interview with Submission Radio back in May, Van Heerden talked about working with Conor McGregor in "the Notorious" one's preparation for his rematch with Nate Diaz. Van Heerden made it clear that his work with McGregor was not just to help McGregor sharpen his hands, but to prove something to himself:
"That was the first time I've ever laced gloves up against an MMA fighter," Van Heerden told Submission Radio. "And Conor McGregor's got about 15 pounds on me, so he's bigger than me. But the argument was for myself. I wanted to answer a question personally for myself, that's why I did it."
"Because the argument was that I wanted to prove to myself that no MMA fighter, in a stand-up game, will be able to handle a stand-up professional champion boxer in a stand-up game, because this is what we do for living. And I wanted to prove to myself that I can go with even an MMA guy like Conor McGregor - which is the biggest name in the UFC at the moment - and I wanted to prove it to myself. So that was the first time I did it."
Van Heerden wasn't dismissive of McGregor's skill during their sparring session, but he also took the time to point out that, as video was going public, he had "sparring footage where you can clearly see I'm the professional boxer and not Conor."
Perhaps that explains the tweet he sent out on July 5th, shortly after the latest episode of This is The Mac Life went live on YouTube. The episode, titled "Conor McGregor sparring former IBO & IBF champion (Boxing vs. MMA)" included a number of clips from the session between the two men. It doesn't appear to have made Van Heerden very happy:
McGregor screwing over his training partners by posting videos trying to make them look bad? Poor etiquette. pic.twitter.com/O4jDYcllO4— Jonathan Snowden (@JESnowden) July 5, 2016
Van Heerden apologized for and deleted the tweet shortly afterward, and it appears to be all water under the bridge:
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
But the whole thing is a good reminder, that when two men are training together with the express idea of looking good or proving a point off one another, someone is probably going to end up unhappy with the results.