Ali Abdelaziz, the top manager of the top-ranked fighters of the UFC, whose client is Khabib, argued with a journalist. The head of the Dominance agency embarked on a warpath with a TV channel. Khabib’s manager has announced a boycott of the lead journalist of ESPN and his entire company.
What Is the Essence of the Conflict?
It all started when ESPN insider Ariel Helwani spoke out about the future of the division. In particular, he believes that there is no logic in the next title fight between Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns. Ariel supposes that the Brazilian is better off fighting Leon Edwards, and the winner can then fight the champion, Usman.
That message infuriated Ali Abdelaziz, who is the manager of both Usman and Burns. It seemed to him that in this way, the journalist was flattering and playing along with the former UFC champion in two weight categories Conor McGregor, whose career is being led by the same management as Edwards`.
Moreover, he became so angry that he promised not to allow Ariel and all the channel employees to the subsequent press conferences of his fighters.
Will He Carry Out His Threats?
Most likely, Khabib’s manager has announced a boycott of the lead journalist of ESPN in vain.
First, the UFC and ESPN are partners and both value business relations. Also, they have recently signed a big contract worth about $ 1.5 billion. Dana White will not allow petty squabbles to cause a possible blowing of the deal, even when it comes to the top fighters.
Second, the attention of the press is crucial for the athletes. Moreover, the absurdity of the situation lies in the fact that managers should contribute to the promotion of their clients, and not vice versa. That is why Ali Abdelaziz is unlikely to be able to ban journalists from attending press conferences.
In your opinion, who is right and who is wrong in this conflict?