Photo: Ali Abdelaziz poses with three of his most successful clients (Amy Kaplan)
Dominance MMA Management President Ali Abdelaziz announced on his Twitter that no ESPN reporter or affiliate will interview Dominance fighters until further notice.
“All @espnmma you have been banned from talking to any Dominance fighters because you have a reporter who’s targeting my champions,” Abdelaziz said in the tweet. “You need an immediate investigation for corruption today.”
The reporter that Abdelaziz referred to in the tweet was ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, who is one of the most well-known MMA journalists in the world. This transpired after Helwani and No. 1 welterweight contender Gilbert Burns engaged in a war of words over social media after Helwani suggested that he fight Leon Edwards before getting a title shot.
Burns, who was originally supposed to face champion Kamaru Usman before testing positive for COVID-19, obviously did not like being told to get back in line by Helwani, whose opinion always garners attention considering his veteran status as an MMA reporter.
Dominance Management is one of the largest of its kind, and they represent some of the biggest names in the industry. Abdelaziz represents UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, Lightweight Interim Champion Justin Gaethje, Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman, and many other big names.
Is Abdelaziz overreacting by banning an entire organization from interviewing fighters, or is he justified in backing up the fighters he represents?