“Atleast I can get on a plane” – Khabib Nurmagomedov’s manager engages in explosive verbal fury with top MMA journo over Islam Makhachev’s next fight

Days after Chael Sonnen's screaming match, Ali Abdelaziz rips Ariel Helwani for spreading rumors about Islam Makhachev. Helwani fires back with a savage response.

“Atleast I can get on a plane” – Khabib Nurmagomedov’s manager engages in explosive verbal fury with top MMA journo over Islam Makhachev’s next fight

Ariel Helwani gets slammed for speculating on Islam Makhachev and Charles Oliveira (Source: IMAGO/Twitter)

Charles Oliveira was set to rematch Islam Makhachev at UFC 294. However, he was forced out of the fight card due to injury just days before the event. Hence, Alexander Volkanovski stepped in to replace him on short notice. Makhachev emerged victorious against Volkanovski and looked to defend his title again. CEO Dana White had earlier asserted that Oliveira remains the frontrunner to Makhachev. However, a dispute rose between Ariel Helwani and Ali Abdelaziz regarding this matter.

Helwani revealed that the UFC had a plan for Oliveira and his rematch with Makhachev. Despite no official confirmation from any party, Helwani took to X to announce Oliveira vs. Makhachev as the potential main event for the January 20 card in Toronto. This has struck a nerve with Abdelaziz. He wrote:

Guys, please don't listen to people...[who] can't even get credentials to UFC events, fake news bi**h...
Ali Abdelaziz via X.

Moreover, when ESPN quizzed Oliveira about the plausibility of the rumors surrounding his January meeting with the Dagestani, he shot down such conjecture. However, Helwani did not shy away from retorting back with a tweet later of his own. Addressing Abdelaziz, he said:

Hey, at least I can get on a plane and leave the country.
Ariel Helwani via X.

This was not the first or a secluded incidence of Helwani beefing with fighters or the heads of the promotion. Many have accused the famed journalist of taking the speculation seriously. Very recently, Ariel Helwani got into a shouting parade with former co-host Chael Sonnen for speculating over Francis Ngannou‘s payday. He has also clashed with White himself in the past, numerous times.

Ali Abdelaziz slams Charles Oliveira’s chances against Islam Makhachev

Ali Abdelaziz of Dominance MMA manages lightweight champion Islam Makhachev within the combative sports promotion. Makhachev recently defeated Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 294. Before that, he was set to face off against Charles Oliveira in a rematch of their own. Oliveira suffered a cut in training and had to pull out. This led to the cancelation of their rematch.

Islam Makhachev, Charles Oliveira
Islam Makhachev, Charles Oliveira (Source: ESPN)

Recently, Oliveira has expressed renewed interest in his long-due rematch with Makhachev. However, Abdelaziz has stumped upon his chances at such a shot. The manager of the lightweight king believed that Oliveira had lost his chance at a title shot and should move on. Abdelaziz has always been nitpicky about future altercations for his fighters. As such, he has dismissed Oliveira before as well.

Accordingly, Abdelaziz has tweeted that the contender does not warrant a second chance. He has, additionally, invoked Justin Gaethje as a viable contender up next for Makhachev. The UFC has made no official announcement regarding the next lightweight title bout. Hence, fans should not take the words of Abdelaziz seriously.

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