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Midnight Mania! Ali Abdelaziz attacks Ariel Helwani and MMA media, blocks ESPN interviews with his clients

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Ali Abdelaziz is one of the most successful managers in the sport. His company Dominance MMA has a roster filled with elite talent and champions, athletes like Kamaru Usman, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and Justin Gaethje. However, Abdelaziz is also one of the more controversial figures of the sport, known to hijack his athletes’ twitter accounts to talk smack. He also gotten in several physical altercations with professional fighters and fans alike.

Earlier today, Abdelaziz took to Twitter to direct his ire in the direction of MMA media, namely ESPN. More specifically, Abdelaziz is rumored to have beef with Ariel Helwani. Though he doesn’t mention Helwani by name in any of the Tweets, Helwani did argue for a fight between Leon Edwards and Abdelaziz-represented Gilbert Burns, which Abdelaziz clearly took as an insult.

In retaliation, Abdelaziz promises that ESPN/Helwani will not have any access to Dominance MMA-managed fighters in upcoming interviews. Per Abdelaziz, it’s now “personal.”

To clarify, Abdelaziz explained there he respected many different ESPN reporters, listing out several of their more high-profile MMA reporters ... except Helwani.

On a final side note, Canadian sports network TSN was also caught in the rage storm.

The fallout from this bad blood will certainly be interesting. How will UFC feel about Abdelaziz blocking its broadcast partner from a great deal of its roster? Are Abdelaziz’s athletes all on board with giving up media exposure because their manager doesn’t like a reporter? Will MMAmania get blocked for writing this article?

It’s all up in the air, but trust that we’ll provide any updates as they occur.


Some new, unseen footage (mostly of the cornermen) from Khabib vs. Conor McGregor!

Paulo Costa has the mind of a promoter.

It’s important not to get too hung up about records, but this is still pretty cool. The current crop of champions is no joke!

Petr Yan got a mural in Saint Petersburg after his title win.

Dan Hooker reflects on what it takes to become champion:

Dana White may be ready to move to “Fight Island,” but the heat may be too much for our favorite tomato.

Slips, rips, and KO clips

Here’s a great little hype video on future Russian stud Viacheslav Borshchev from Team Alpha Male, known around the gym only as Slava.

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Друзья, аккаунт @MMA_RUSSIA просит вас помочь нашему хорошему другу и зрелищному кикбоксёру Славе Борщёву @kickborshchev, который отправился в США в знаменитый клуб Team Alpha Male @teamalphamalemma, чтобы начать строить свою карьеру в ММА, но показал такой уровень подготовки, что в итоге стал одним из тренеров по ударной технике в этой команде. Он уже провёл один поединок в ММА где эффектно финишировал соперника, а сейчас мечтает попасть на шоу Дэйны Уайта - Contender, где свои силы могут попробовать молодые неизвестные бойцы, среди которых Уайт отбирает тех, кто проявил себя лучше всего. У Славы крутейших бекграунд и зрелищный стиль, но достучаться до руководства UFC никак не получается. И поэтому мы просим Вас помочь, друзья! Это совсем не сложно и займёт всего несколько секунд, а Слава, возможно, получит свой шанс. Пожалуйста, просто отметьте в комментариях под данной публикацией Дэйну, Шона Шелби и Инстаграм шоу Contender - @danawhite @seanshelby @contender_series_dwtcs А в комментариях на последней записи у Дэйны @danawhite напишите - Dana, bring in @kickborshchev for DWCS! Let’s go! Большое спасибо! Давайте покажем силу наших соц. сетей!))) ================================= Hey @danawhite @seanshelby @contender_series_dwtcs! We would like to draw your attention to an extremely talented Russian MMA fighter and kickboxer @kickborshchev Slava gave up his comfort life in Russia to pursue his dream of becoming a UFC fighter. Slava is now @teamalphamalemma striking coach and made successful debut in MMA. He also has tons of experience and credentials in kickboxing. He is master of entertaining, fluent English speaker and a real character. We ask you to give him a chance in one of Contender Series tournaments. He won’t let you down! Go @kickborshchev!

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This is a great transition off the caught kick, but how about Yan’s slick sweeps against Jose Aldo? Those were awesome!

If you’re going to attack a low percentage submission like the Peruvian necktie (and a strangely angled one at that), it helps to have a backup plan!

Random Land

This cake video took the world by storm over the weekend and had everyone questioning their reality. Personally, I just want some cake.

Midnight Music: It’s been 100° in Sacramento for like two straight weeks, and I feel the only appropriate reaction to high-heat Summer weather is gangster rap.

Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.