Veteran MMA journalist Ariel Helwani has called out Ali Abdelaziz, the CEO of Dominance MMA Management, for a now-deleted tweet about Islam Makhachev’s potential use of an IV drip after his victory over Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 284.
Abdelaziz took to Twitter to defend Makhachev against allegations made by Dan Hooker that he had used an IV drip to rehydrate after cutting weight. Abdelaziz claimed that any fighter under the UFC banner could take 2-3 litres of IV as long as it was done by a nurse or professional. However, eagle-eyed UFC fans noted that the use of IV therapy was banned by the Western Australia Combat Sports Commission, which oversaw the UFC event in Perth.
Ariel Helwani Reacts To Deleted AIi Abdelaziz Tweet
Helwani, who has a rocky relationship with Abdelaziz, took to Twitter to call out Abdelaziz. He wrote, “He deleted it because someone, I would think, told him he was incriminating himself with this tweet. You can’t take 2-3 L by a professional or not. It’s 100ml per 12 hours (among other details). Massive difference.”
Abdelaziz later deleted the tweet, but the incident has only added fuel to the fire to the controversy, as well as the contentious relationship between Helwani and Abdelaziz. The two have had several public feuds, including a heated exchange in 2019 over Abdelaziz’s treatment of the media.
The Potential Fallout
As of now, it remains unclear whether Makhachev did in fact use an IV drip, and if so, whether it was within the permitted limits set by the WACSC and the UFC. Many fans and experts in the MMA community are eagerly awaiting the next move by the UFC. If Makhachev is found guilty of IV usage, it could result in a suspension and significantly damage his reputation. It could also further damage the reputation of Abdelaziz, who has been accused of unscrupulous business practices in the past.
Volkanovksi commented on the matter in an interview with Ariel Helwani for MMA Fighting pre-recorded before Hooker’s tweets. Volkanovski stated “I think I was 170 [pounds] or just under. 178 to 180 I think he would have been. I’ve heard he gets up to like 180. You fill up pretty quick on the IV’s and stuff like that… Maybe that’s a little shot at him.”
Despite the controversy, the UFC and USADA are yet to comment. In any event, it feels like this saga is far from over.
Do you agree with Ariel Helwani? Did Ali Abdelaziz incriminate himself or Islam Makhachev in the deleted tweet? Let us know in the comments below!
Featured image credits to Embed from Getty Images