Ali Abdelaziz says he is banning ESPN and TSN from interviewing his fighters

Ali Abdelaziz
Image: @AliAbdelaziz000 on Instagram

MMA manager Ali Abdelaziz says he is banning ESPN and TSN from any future interviews with his fighters who are part of Dominance MMA.

ESPN is the UFC’s official broadcast partner and some of the top journalists in MMA work for the company, including Ariel Helwani, Marc Raimondi, Jeff Wagenheim, and Brett Okamoto. TSN is the top sporting media outlet in Canada and an affiliate of ESPN. Some of TSN’s talent include top journalist Aaron Bronsteter and Robin Black, who was recently nominated for a Fighter’s Only award as the best analyst of the year in mixed martial arts.

According to Abdelaziz, who posted the proclamation publicly on Twitter, none of the journalists who work for ESPN and TSN will get to interview his clients anymore. This comes after Helwani and UFC welterweight Gilbert Burns got into it on Twitter on Monday after Helwani suggested that Burns should fight Leon Edwards next to get a welterweight title shot. Abdelaziz did not agree with Helwani’s suggestion that Burns should fight Edwards next, and soon after announced the interview ban for ESPN and TSN reporters.

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.

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.

Also, TSN is on the banned list

It will be interesting to see if this sticks because ESPN is the official media partner of the UFC in the United States and TSN is the official media partner of the UFC in Canada. Ali Abdelaziz can limit the number of interviews his clients do with these media outlets outside of fight week, but the UFC has contracts with ESPN that must allow them to interview fighters during fight week and at events, making this a murky situation at best. It will be interesting if UFC president Dana White or anyone at ESPN responds to this news.

Abdelaziz’s Dominance MMA is one of the top MMA management teams in the world. Some of his clients include UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, UFC interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje, No. 1 welterweight contender Gilbert Burns, former UFC bantamweight and flyweight champion Henry Cejudo, former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar, former UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt, and former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum.