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Ariel Helwani's MMA Show
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Ariel Helwani's MMA Show

Author: ESPN, MMA, Ariel Helwani

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ESPN's Ariel Helwani talks to the biggest names, addresses the hottest topics and previews/reviews the most important fight cards from across the world of MMA.
212 Episodes
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Darren Till, Dillon Danis

Darren Till, Dillon Danis

2020-08-0501:07:47

From a pool in Dubai, UFC middleweight Darren Till talks to Ariel about his July 25 loss to Robert Whittaker, his dreams of holding the belt one day, why he doesn’t want to be an “Instagram fighter,” past issues with Mike Perry, pina coladas and more (6:10). Plus, the latest on Conor McGregor and a conversation with Bellator welterweight Dillon Danis about his injury recovery and the many, many fighters he has beef with, including Jorge Masvidal (37:00).
With less than two weeks away from UFC 252, Daniel Cormier updates Ariel with the latest on his training, his plan for beating Stipe Miocic and his emotions going through the final fight camp of his illustrious career. Then, the guys discuss Khabib’s plan to fight Georges St-Pierre in 2021 (42:25), Conor McGregor’s next step (55:50), flyweight Joanne Calderwood’s costly decision and Derek Brunson’s surprising win over UFC middleweight prospect Edmen Shahbazyan.
In an exclusive interview, UFC lightweight Tony Ferguson speaks candidly about his UFC 249 loss to Justin Gaethje, telling Ariel about his regrets from that fight, the difficulties of fighting Gaethje after preparing for Khabib Nurmagomedov, what it was like to experience losing for the first time in eight years, and when/who he hopes to fight next. Then, former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker discusses last weekend’s win over Darren Till and his overall thoughts on the division (27:00). Legendary boxer Roy Jones Jr. also talks about his upcoming exhibition bout with Mike Tyson and how it came together (48:18).
Daniel Cormier joins Ariel to discuss Robert Whittaker’s five-round decision victory over Darren Till this past weekend, and what it says about the former middleweight champ’s evolution in the UFC. The guys also talk about where Till goes from here, if Alexander Gustafsson should stay at heavyweight (26:10), and the road ahead for welterweight sensation Khamzat Chimaev (31:45).
Before running through the latest in the MMA world (42:20), Ariel speaks to UFC middleweight Jack Hermansson about last weekend’s big submission of Kelvin Gastelum and his predictions for Saturday’s Darren Till/Robert Whittaker fight, as well as the rest of the middleweight division. Plus, UFC flyweight contender Joanne Calderwood explains why she’s passing up a title shot against Valentina Shevchenko, choosing to fight on Aug. 1 rather than wait for the champion (24:15).
Daniel Cormier joins Ariel to discuss Deiveson Figueiredo becoming the new UFC flyweight champion, whether Joseph Benavidez is the best fighter to never win a UFC title, the recently booked Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa fight, Khabib Nurmagomedov's fighting future, Aljamain Sterling's chances of getting the next UFC title shot, the final Fight Island event of the month, and a heavyweight fight that definitely won't be happening this weekend.
After reacting to Wednesday night’s events, Ariel speaks to BMF champion Jorge Masvidal about Gamebred’s performance against Kamaru Usman, the difficulties of last week's weight cut, why he feels fans are drawn to him, his hopes for fighting Usman again and more (4:50). Then, UFC strawweight “Thug” Rose Namajunas discusses a challenging Fight Island experience, if she thinks Zhang Weili is next, and why she feels she’s a different person after beating Jessica Andrade (40:25).
Daniel Cormier joins Ariel to discuss if the Kamaru Usman/Jorge Masvidal fight lived up to expectations, controversy surrounding the Alexander Volkanovski/Max Holloway decision (34:06), if the referees should have stopped the bantamweight event sooner (50:07), if Rose Namajunas is ready for Zhang Weili (54:43) and Paige VanZant’s next move (56:38). Plus, the guys get heated while debating whether Gilbert Burns or Leon Edwards deserve the next shot at the welterweight title (21:50).
Ben Askren, Henri Hooft

Ben Askren, Henri Hooft

2020-07-0801:04:55

Jorge Masvidal’s flying knee seen ‘round the world elevated his stardom to levels that his opponent that night, former UFC welterweight Ben Askren, believes he himself could have risen to had he won. Askren openly discusses his emotions surrounding that night one year ago, Masvidal’s chances against Kamaru Usman, Askren’s own beef with “Marty” and more. Then, Henri Hooft, former coach of Usman and current coach of Gilbert Burns, breaks his silence to talk about Usman’s departure from his gym and what it means for Sanford MMA if Usman and Burns face each other in the future (37:50).   To sign up for Ariel’s LIVE podcast event on Friday at 8 p.m. ET, click here.
Daniel Cormier joins Ariel to recap a crazy weekend that ended with Jorge Masvidal agreeing to terms to fight Kamaru Usman for the welterweight title on Fight Island. The guys share their insights about what really happened before debating which fighter faces more pressure Saturday night. Plus, they discuss what’s next for Gilbert Burns (45:15), Max Holloway’s unorthodox training camp (56:30) and the slew of exciting fights slated for UFC 251. To sign up for Ariel's LIVE podcast event, click here.
In his first interview since agreeing to fight Kamaru Usman at UFC 251 on July 11, Jorge Masvidal joins Ariel for a wide-ranging chat about how the fight got made so quickly, whether he’s happy with the deal, why he dislikes Usman so much and more.
After beating Dan Hooker in a five round classic, former UFC interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier discusses his grueling fighting style, his post-fight interaction with Hooker at the hospital, how his 2014 loss to Conor McGregor changed him, why he feels he’s the last of a “dying breed,” and much more. Then, UFC strawweight Rose Namajunas on her UFC 251 preparation, if she misses holding the belt, COVID-19’s impact on her family, and her spirituality (31:01). Plus, an update on when other MMA promotions might see a return to action (59:34).
Fight of the year? Daniel Cormier joins Ariel to break down Dustin Poirier's win over Dan Hooker and where it places him in the lightweight rankings. The guys also discuss Mike Perry's corner strategy (36:13), Max Holloway's new hair (48:48) and if they believe Jon Jones will actually sit out a few years (1:01:42). Plus, the time Ariel overstayed his welcome at DC's house and an update on DC's birds.
Paige VanZant, Mike Perry

Paige VanZant, Mike Perry

2020-06-2401:01:23

With her UFC contract set to expire after UFC 251, flyweight Paige VanZant talks to Ariel about where she and the UFC stand on contract renegotiations, if she's feeling additional pressure because of her situation, and the sacrifices she's made to focus her attention solely on this fight. Then, "Platinum" Mike Perry tells a bar fight story, shouts out the haters, and explains why his new girlfriend will be the only one cornering him this Saturday (27:40). Robert Drysdale, cornerman to Max Rohskopf, also explains why he ignored his fighter's pleas to stop the fight last Saturday (42:35).
Daniel Cormier joins Ariel to offer a different perspective on the controversy surrounding UFC lightweight Max Rohskopf and his cornerman Robert Drysdale (7:15). The guys also discuss what's next for Curtis Blaydes and the entire heavyweight division (37:40), the decision to hold the DC/Stipe Miocic fight at the Apex, upcoming fights they're excited for and if there's interest in watching Jon Jones and Mike Tyson fight each other (1:09:45).
He's the champion, but Alexander Volkanovski still feels like he's got something to prove at UFC 251 when he puts his featherweight belt on the line against beloved fighter Max Holloway. Volkanovski tells Ariel about his renewed sense of motivation, his preparation for adverse conditions on Fight Island, and if he ever came close to fighting Henry Cejudo. Plus, Cynthia Calvillo discusses her move to flyweight, Jessica Eye's "weird" weigh-in performance last Saturday and how close she feels she is to challenging Valentina Shevchenko after defeating Eye (29:50). Ariel also delivers his thoughts on Amanda Nunes' recent comments about retirement (52:18).
Daniel Cormier, who signed the Stipe Miocic trilogy fight last week, tells Ariel why he withheld the news from him on last week's show (15:15). Plus, DC on Jorge Masvidal's contract disputes, Fight Island, and the UFC 251 fighter facing the most pressure. Ariel also reveals why he only wears flannel shirts and DC admits he does not know the name of his pet bird.
Following an "avalanche" of UFC news, ESPN's Chael Sonnen joins Ariel to discuss the revealing of Fight Island and a stacked UFC 251 card (15:38). Then, Sonnen unleashes on Ariel while talking about Jorge Masvidal's stalled negotiations, the UFC's failure to land Conor McGregor a fight, and Jon Jones' demands. Plus, Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic III (49:56).
Conor McGregor's retirement took the sports world by storm late Saturday night, and Daniel Cormier joins Ariel to explain the similarities and differences between McGregor's gripes with the UFC as compared to those of Jorge Masvidal, Jon Jones and Henry Cejudo (34:50). Plus, DC's advice to Amanda Nunes following her dominant UFC 250 performance, Aljamain Sterling's potential, the return of Cody Garbrandt, the fast-rising star of Sean O'Malley and much more, including an update on the potential trilogy fight between DC & Stipe Miocic (1:00:05).
Days before UFC 250, headlining women's bantamweight contender Felicia Spencer joins Ariel to discuss her first UFC title fight appearance, what it was like to prepare during a pandemic, and Amanda Nunes' greatest weakness. Then, UFC bantamweight Aljamain Sterling explains his frustration with not being featured in Saturday's co-main event and also discusses the state of the division now that Henry Cejudo is out of the picture (27:35). Sterling's opponent, Cory Sandhagen, then tells Ariel about a very different fight week experience and why he believes he's a "more impressive" fighter than Sterling (44:45). Lastly, Tyron Woodley, who lost in a welterweight bout last weekend, explains why he's at an "eerie peace" with the loss before passionately describing how he hopes to make an impact in a country that badly needs it (1:05:42).
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Comments (134)

Ryles

I like Dillon Danis but did anyone else lose all interest about 5 minutes into his interview? Ariel should have put Till last in this edit 😂

Aug 6th
Reply

Matt Kach

lol semantic

Jul 21st
Reply

Steve Donnell

01:56

Jul 6th
Reply

Jake Smith

Lol. Max was shut out. 5-0. You were so biased in that call DC, hopefully you’re not calling again.

Jun 30th
Reply

Gus

24:30 mma talk

Jun 10th
Reply

Dale Benson

Fuk dc drew brees said the right thing and for dc to think California views are the what the rest of the country thinks he needs to break his crack pipe , most of America agrees black people deserve equal rights just like every American deserves equal rights but to act like they deserve something special or more rights than the rest of us , fuk you stupid liberal pieces of trash

Jun 10th
Reply (1)

Dale Benson

People like you Ariel are the problem , you continually want to separate us by race listen to yourself , there is no problem with police shooting mass amounts of black people white peoples are shot way more than blacks by cops , Mexicans are treated even worse but you don’t raise a single issue with that , you know why dc don’t know about racism ? Because it ain’t there ! It’s ssssoooo much better in America than it was a hundred years ago , as a brown skinned American most people think I’m half black I have never been target of racism , I played on same football team as white people drank from same water fountain , went into same classroom not once was I or anybody of a different race treated any different than anyone else , I was given same exact opportunity as my white friends , it’s people like you and your talk ( we put black peoples on pedistool , we think your the coolest ) got news for you we donput black people on anything we pcool people on pedistool regardless of race , we admire people , NOT BLACK PEOPLE , it’s the way you talk that divides us , you are one stupid liberal piece of trash

Jun 3rd
Reply

Cory Mcginley

he definitely touched the towel...a lo 😂

May 27th
Reply

Rowdy Palmer

I'm so glad Smith didnt take that knee from jon a walk away from the fight. He would have lost fans bc the knee wasnt that bad, you get 5 mins to recover. Maybe if he was winning the fight I would get it. He took more damage against Glover than he did from that knee. I love watching Smith fight. Keep doing it your way if it works for you.

May 21st
Reply

Hugo Stiglitz

Bobby Knuckles is the best. idk how bisping could call him boring. he's cool af

Apr 30th
Reply

Hugo Stiglitz

this should be better. ariel is too much soy for my liking so DC should balance it out

Mar 6th
Reply (2)

Kutacrusader

Edmund tarverdyn has died and resurrected in the form of Jesus

Feb 29th
Reply

Jason Holman

So Diego and this dude are Definitely blowing each other, right?????

Feb 28th
Reply

Mart

when will this be on YouTube? I like to look at people when they're talking to gauge their honesty.

Feb 21st
Reply

Josh Mull

That was extremely difficult to listen to. Diego's "coach" is a clown

Feb 21st
Reply

Billy P

This was the first time I wanted to forward this podcast... Diego's "guru" is such a rough listen

Feb 20th
Reply (1)

Mark Ess

please for the love of everyone never have Diego on again. what a borefest! worst episode ever!

Feb 20th
Reply

Gerardo Meza

fuck off the comments then!

Feb 19th
Reply

Dale Benson

It don’t surprise me Ariel takes Diego’s side , Diego took the coward way out and naturally Ariel another coward understands that

Feb 18th
Reply

Hugo Stiglitz

of course it does. what kind of stupid question is this? there's never been a time where mma didn't have a big judging problem

Feb 14th
Reply
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