The intense feud between Dominance MMA manager Ali Abdelaziz and journalist Ariel Helwani is well-known. Recently things escalated when Helwani made a claim regarding UFC lightweight champion Islam Makahchev, who Abdelaziz represents.
Helwani asserted that Islam Makahchev would headline UFC 297 in January against former champion Charles Oliveira.
Helwani wrote on X: “The current plan – though not finalized just yet – is to have Islam Makhachev x Charles Oliveira 2 – headline UFC 297. That event, while not officially announced yet, is currently slated to Jan. 20 in Toronto. The original plan for that main was Volkanovski x Topuria, but now the plan is for that to be on the February PPV. Raquel Pennington x Mayra Bueno Silva for the vacant 135 title also scheduled for that January card, as reported yesterday.”
Abdelaziz was quick to refute it as “fake news.” He tweeted: “Fake news @MAKHACHEVMMA fighting Charles Oliveira in January.”
He then responded to it with another post in which he openly attacked Ariel Helwani. Helwani said: “Guys, please don’t listen to people can’t even get credentials to UFC events fake news bitch.”
Ariel Helwani retaliated quickly against Abdelaziz, attacking the MMA manager on his travel restriction.
It should be noted that Dana White just denied claims that UFC is targeting Makhachev vs Oliveira for December.
It was reported in March that Abdelaziz had been dismissed as an NYPD informant and was thus no longer permitted to leave the country without telling the police. Abdelaziz was born in Egypt, and has made a name for himself as one of the most well-known managers in sports. Kamaru Usman, Justin Gaethje, Islam Makhachev, and Kayla Harrison are among his clients.
Abdelaziz was imprisoned in 2002 for forging documents. While arrested, he was chosen to operate undercover for Muslims of America by the Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence for the New York Police Department. Abdelaziz allegedly made hundreds of thousands of dollars during his tenure as one of the agency’s highest-paid spies.
The animosity between Helwani and Abdelaziz is not new.
This incident was sparked by Helwani’s assertion that Leon Edwards deserved a shot at then-champion Kamaru Usman over Gilbert Burns. This statement deeply offended Abdelaziz, who also manages Burns.
Helwani talked about the altercation on an episode of The MMA Hour.
“He said, ‘Leave my fighters name out of your f*ckin’ mouth’ And I said— do you remember what I said? ‘And what? What are you gonna do about it?’ I had a backpack, I dropped it down, and I said, ‘Please come over here and tell me what you’re gonna do about it? And what?’ Like, there has to be an ‘and’, right?”
Abdelaziz has decided to prohibit his combatants from appearing on The MMA Hour, with the exception of Kayla Harrison. She has made multiple appearances on the show.