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24th Mar 2017

WATCH: UFC star sparring with arguably the greatest boxer in the world is in equal parts amazing and frustrating

Just plain cruel

Ben Kiely

Two of the pound-for-pound greats in their respective disciplines.

There was a tweet doing the rounds the other day that gave combat sports nerds a funny feeling in the pit of their stomachs.

Former UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw stepped into the ring to spar with two-weight world boxing champion Vasyl Lomachenko. Two masters of movement and distance management, elite athletes and true artists of expression in their own field.

Dillashaw is booked to fight Cody Garbrandt to try to win back the belt he lost to Dominick Cruz for his next trip to the Octagon, while Lomachenko has a 7-1 pro record, but an insane 396-1 amateur record.

Brett Okamoto sold it well, a lot of people would pay good money to watch this training session. There’s no way it could possibly disappoint.

Even Dillashaw himself did an excellent job of hyping it up in his interview with ES News. He didn’t underplay how in over his head he was against the elite pugilist, but considering his workhorse mentality and obsession with improvement, you just knew this was going to be a fascinating watch.

“He put it on me. He’s animal. He’s a cardio machine. He doesn’t give you a break. So much respect. Just to share the ring with the guy was amazing. I would never pass up the opportunity. I wish I was in a little bit better shape, but it was amazing.”

“Turning you into punches, that’s his thing. He gets those angles where you can’t find him. You’re looking, and as soon as you find him, he’s hitting you. It was amazing. I’m a guy who wants to use angles and use footwork, so I can learn a lot from him. I really hope I get to continue to work with him.”

Then the footage emerged, and it was a massive let-down.

Of the 16 minutes of sparring, we were given a paltry 16 seconds to have a gander at. That’s right, 16 fucking seconds!

It’s better than nothing, but only just.