There was a lot of back and forth talk with the Conor McGregor and Paulie Malignaggi sparring sessions, especially with their eventual fallout. After their first sparring session, Malignaggi said that McGregor’s punching power was good, but it wasn’t “Oh my god” power that he never felt before. Malignaggi stated that there were only a select few opponents and sparring partners that he felt had that sort of power and that seems to be the case with UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier as well.
Speaking on his latest Talk and Talker podcast, Cormier spoke about the potential unification bout between McGregor and new interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson. Cormier touched on McGregor’s accuracy and speed and the subject of striking power came up. Cormier was asked by co-host Nick Swinmurn who he felt had noticeably heavier hands either during a fight or in sparring (at 1:41 of the video above).
“Generally, guys punching me, I don’t feel it,” said Cormier. “I could tell Dan Henderson punched pretty hard when we were in close but the only time I been hit where I was like, ‘Oh man, this dude has some real power’ was Rico Verhoeven. Rico Verhoeven is a K1 champion, heavyweight and he hit me and I was like, ‘Oh my lord. What the hell?’ I was like, I cannot stay in that range with this dude at all. And it’s crazy because in kickboxing, he doesn’t have that many knockouts but he’s just so much bigger than I am and so much more skilled technically. And, every time he hit me I was like, ‘Oh my goodness, what the hell was that?'”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 10/12/2017.