Hardy: Sparring Footage Breaks Unspoken Code

When UFC President Dana White released footage of Conor McGregor sparring with Paulie Malignaggi, including Malignaggi hitting the canvas, it set off a storm of controversial events. Malignaggi left the McGregor camp, claimed he was shoved down and dared McGregor and White to release all the footage they have.

While the released footage caused major debate over if McGregor knocked down or shoved Malignaggi, and if McGregor really did supposedly go the distance with the former boxing champion and potentially win an exhibition between the two. But the released footage also brought up a debate among fighters about the ethics of releasing sparring and practice footage.

One fighter who stated an opinion on the matter is Heather Hardy —  the WBC International Female Super Bantamweight Champion, who also made her professional MMA debut at Bellator 180 back in June. She disagrees with the concept of releasing sparring footage to the public stating it violates an unwritten rule in boxing.

“There is an unspoken code,” Hardy told Ariel Helwani on a recent edition of The MMA Hour. “I know that when girls come out and spar me, and if I see video cameras coming, they always say, ‘this is for my personal use, I’ll never put it up on Instagram. It’s just so I can learn from it,’ and I’m like, ‘of course,’ but it’s something you say.

“I remember once a girl was like putting it up and didn’t tell me anything and I felt a certain type of way, so I wouldn’t start sparring until she shut it off. You don’t know what people are going to do, they might do stuff like this, so it’s totally an unspoken kind of rule.”

As for if she feels McGregor got the knockdown, she feels he may have. But, when it comes to the bout as a whole, Hardy feels while a picture is worth a thousand words, a sight of McGregor knocking down Malignaggi doesn’t tell a full story of the exhibition.

“It looked like a knockdown, it did. “But I say that to say this: There was 45 minutes of sparring that we didn’t get to see,” Hardy said. “People can take a snapshot or 15 seconds of some of my fights — which I’ve said they’re very physical — like you can probably look at 10 pictures from my MSG fight and be like, ‘there is no way Heather won,; because I did get hit a lot and I often get hit a lot but it’s not telling of the whole story.

“If Paulie is saying, ‘wait until you watch the whole tape,’ then okay, let’s wait and see the whole tape. Anyone can make something out of nothing. But does it look like he got knocked down? Yes.”

Original story: MMA Fighting

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