Video: What the Heck, Episode 24: Stephen Thompson, Mackenzie Dern, Gerald Meerschaert, Julia Avila and William Knight

On this week’s episode of What the Heck, MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck speaks with UFC middleweight Gerald Meerschaert (5:23) to preview his upcoming fight with Khamzat Chimaev on Sept. 19, plus he talks about being a sizable underdog, Dana White’s response to Chimaev’s double booking and how the UFC president says it’s not meant to be disrespectful, how he plans to stop the prospect’s hype train, and preparing for the fight with Tyron Woodley.

UFC bantamweight Julia Avila (22:10) checks in to talk about her newly booked fight with Sijara Eubanks this Saturday at UFC Vegas 10, how it came to be from her perspective, what happened with her Oct. 3 fight with Nicco Montano and why she’s no longer being interested in facing the former 125-pound champion.

William Knight (33:14) recaps his first-round finish of Cody Brundage on DWCS Season 4: Week 5 to turn his developmental deal into a full-on UFC light heavyweight roster spot, reacts to claims from fans that he’s on performance enhancing drugs, plus he talks about having his octagon debut set against Aleksa Camur at UFC 253, and why he was thrilled Camur was his opponent.

UFC strawweight Mackenzie Dern (1:01:30) previews her upcoming fight with Randa Markos on Sept. 19, and discusses balancing being a professional fighter and mom during a pandemic, the crazy story of why she left Black House MMA in the middle of training camp, how working with Jason Parillo has opened her eyes in the striking game, negotiating a new deal ahead of the fight, and being nearly on weight already—which is a narrative that she hopes will carry over throughout fight week.

Finally, UFC welterweight Stephen Thompson (1:29:19) gives an update on when he’d like to return, plus he shares his thoughts on Nick Diaz’s potential comeback, why he’s interested in that matchup, Leon Edwards, Colby Covington vs. Tyron Woodley on Sept. 19, Kamaru Usman’s targeted next title defense against Gilbert Burns, the rumored rematch for the BMF title between Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz, and more.

Check out the video above, or the audio-only podcast can be found below, on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartRadio, and Stitcher.

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