Chris Van Heerden believes MMA fighters are vulnerable to jaw shots, and relates to Conor McGregor’s chances against Floyd Mayweather.
Many theories have been formulated on why Conor McGregor will definitely lose and “be schooled” by Floyd Mayweather Jr. on August 26th. Another one has been recently been thrown out, this time by McGregor’s former sparring partner, Chris Van Heerden.
In a recent interview with Fight Hub TV, the former IBO welterweight champion did give props to McGregor’s counter left hand, but believes all MMA fighters in general are susceptible to shots to the jaw.
“His best punch is that counter left hand, he’s very good at it,” Van Heerden said of McGregor (transcript via Bad Left Hook). “I’m gonna give that to him, you know. Take nothing away from him, his counter left hand is pretty good and I can see why with [4oz gloves] he’s dropping these guys in MMA but then again, we’ve seen over and over and over it doesn’t take much for these MMA fighters, once they get tagged on the jaw, to go down.”
“In a boxer’s world we are so trained everyday, everyday when we spar we get tagged on the jaw,” he continued. “So we’re used to that where I feel they are so focused on the ground work, on the kicking, on the grappling, on the wrestling, a little bit on the boxing — they don’t perfect one thing. It’s hard to perfect one thing and when they do get hit hard on the jaw it’s like a surprise to them, it’s like ‘whoa!’ and they go down so easy. It’s funny.”
Another difference that Van Heerden brought up is the combination punching between the two disciplines. In this aspect, he believes McGregor will be completely outclassed.
“I feel the massive difference between MMA fighters when it comes to boxing, and boxers when it comes to boxing, is that we are trained to fight in combinations,” Van Heerden said. “We are trained to throw four, five, six, seven punches in a combination where MMA fighters are not trained to throw combinations. You go look at their fights they throw one-twos, they walk down like this, or it’s a one-two, or a one — they don’t fight in combinations.
“And that’s what separates them from boxers in the sense of skill is — let’s say Conor McGregor vs. Floyd. Floyd knows how to throw six, seven, eight punches in a combination, and land them, where Conor maybe knows how to throw one or two. That’s it.”
Mayweather vs. McGregor happens Saturday, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.