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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.
I have nothing against Leon Edwards but the only reason this bitch is on Leon’s dick is because same management team as Conor and he want to show his loyalty to Conor. @GilbertDurinho is the #1 contender, he has a #1 next to his name and that’s all that matters— Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00) July 13, 2020
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.”
All @espnmma you have been banned from talking to any Dominance fighters because you have a reporter who’s targeting my champions. You need an immediate investigation for corruption today.— Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00) July 13, 2020
Kamaru vs Burns is happening, Justin vs Khabib happening and he will not be allowed in the press conference, ask questions, anywhere near any of them. I was being cool but now it’s personal. https://t.co/ELdmRaWZTe— Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00) July 13, 2020
To clarify, Abdelaziz explained there he respected many different ESPN reporters, listing out several of their more high-profile MMA reporters ... except Helwani.
This one reporter trying to do some matches but everything he says is irrelevant stop giving this guy credit— Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00) July 12, 2020
I love what @espnmma brings to the table. They have great reporters Brett Okomoto, Marc Raimondi, Jeff Wagenheim. I have no issue with these guys but enough is enough.— Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00) July 13, 2020
On a final side note, Canadian sports network TSN was also caught in the rage storm.
Also, TSN is on the banned list https://t.co/YECs0zYjga— Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00) July 13, 2020
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.
PUNCHING OLD MOTHERFUCKER CHAMPIONSHIP pic.twitter.com/IvG7whZml3— Paulo Costa ( Borrachinha ) (@BorrachinhaMMA) July 12, 2020
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!
The UFC’s seven current male champions have a COMBINED pro record of 146-7.— Mike Bohn (@MikeBohnMMA) July 12, 2020
Stipe Miocic has 3 of those losses and one is Jon Jones’ questionable DQ.
This crop of champions probably the best we’ve ever see. Just one belt-holder has more than one MMA defeat.
Petr Yan got a mural in Saint Petersburg after his title win.
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Поздравляем @petr_yan с победой! Следим за его творчеством со времён, когда это ещё не было мэйн-стримом! Пётр мастерски расправляется со своими соперниками, как настоящий художник с холстом. Приятно делать подарки таким великим людям! Респект за победу! Адрес: Санкт-Петербург, улица Печатника Григорьева 8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . #ufc#ufcrussia#petryan#arhangelmihail##архангелмихаил#spbcolors#mma#rusfighters#russia#josealdo#санктпетербург#teamyan#nomercy
Dan Hooker reflects on what it takes to become champion:
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My whole approach needs to change. Being a nasty son of a gun that loves to scrap got me this far. But I'm missing a huge piece of the puzzle, the "championship mindset". I experienced it against Poirier and I saw it last night with Volk. To everyone on this journey with me, I will make the necessary adjustments and be back stronger than ever. I have lost many times, but remain undefeated. #evolveordissolve
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!
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!
This cake video took the world by storm over the weekend and had everyone questioning their reality. Personally, I just want some cake.
I needed the earth to have a slice out of it pic.twitter.com/Iz914lcrCT— Alec Yeasting (@awyeasting) July 10, 2020
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.