Dana White Tries To Put To Rest The Debate Over Conor McGregor’s Sparring Sessions By Releasing Video

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Claims made by former sparring partner Paulie Malignaggi against Conor McGregor continue to highlight the ongoing frenzy surrounding the upcoming superfight between the UFC star and Floyd Mayweather. In fact, they’ve gotten to the point where other sparring partners are refuting the claims and now Dana White has put out video of the sessions in an attempt to put the debate to rest.

For Malignaggi, he claims that he was exploited by McGregor’s camp after photographs were released that showed the former champion being beaten and knocked down by McGregor during their sessions. He also claimed that the alleged knockdown was actually a “pushdown” by McGregor, asking for the full video to be released. After a week of comments and speculation, Dana White finally delivered some video early Saturday morning that showed two different angles of the knockdown:

White also posted a second video of the sparring session to support McGregor’s skill as a boxer, with the UFC star landing a monstrous left hand that seemed to seal the deal for some folks online:

Malignaggi did no see these as definitive proof, however, standing by his claims and pushing for the entire fight to be released. He also continued to claim it was a push and not a knockdown:

All of this was preceded on Friday by an open workout session for McGregor that seemed to draw some mixed responses from those who were at the event and commenting about it online. For McGregor, it was a chance to shine and show off for the cameras once again, not sparing a moment in being a showman from the point he arrive until the end.

He started out by showing some of his footwork in the ring, switching stances and demonstrating his swiftness. There were some moments where he looked a little silly too, but nothing compared to when he started working out with the heavy bag:

The bag work is where most of the division seemed to come in terms of McGregor’s skill. For all the talk that we’ve seen from both fighters and the criticism from those within the sport of boxing, nobody is quite sure how McGregor will fare in the ring with Mayweather. Some are willing to say that the UFC champion could win with a swift KO in the early rounds, but then they see a session like this and some questions are raised:

There are many who think McGregor looks slow and in need of more training, something that is obviously exaggeration sprinkled with a fair amount of truth. The idea that McGregor is that slow is silly at best, but it isn’t far fetched to say he could use some more training. Boxing is not easy and even if you’re a fine fighter in general, it is still going to take an adjustment. This is especially true when you’re going up against arguably the best boxer on the planet.

The comments online ranged from calling this session a joke, calling it mindgames against the Mayweather camp, and calling it a top notch workout.

We can definitely buy that McGregor’s workout looked the way it did because he was doing cardio, even if it looks silly at first glance. It is also helped by the video that White released, showing there could be some surprises when the fight finally arrives. But we’ve been here before with Mayweather and we’ve seen plenty of fighters look like they’ve got a shot before the fight comes. While it’s a far more interesting fight than it was when it was merely a rumor, it’s still one that we all need to see to believe.