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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.
253 Episodes
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It's Stuart Scott Day at ESPN, so Ariel welcomes Scott's most well-known SportsCenter partner-in-crime, Rich Eisen, to reminisce about the beloved anchor, who succumbed to cancer in 2015. Then, Ariel and ESPN's Marc Raimondi discuss if Cowboy Cerrone is the right matchup for Conor McGregor, if McGregor's decision to fight at 170 is the correct one, whether Jorge Masvidal could be McGregor's next opponent, McGregor's reputation, the excitement surrounding the Khabib Nurmagomedov/Tony Ferguson fight and more (35:21). And before "TST's Minimalist Tip of the Week" (1:14:58), Ariel reveals the four UFC fighter contestants who will take part in next week's Nose World Order Trivia Championship in Las Vegas (1:07:49).
Ariel begins by explaining why Donald Cerrone is the perfect matchup for Conor McGregor's return fight. Plus, Ariel's thoughts on the Tony Ferguson/Khabib Nurmagomedov lightweight title fight, set for April 18 in Brooklyn. Then, the founder of Fortis MMA, Sayif Saud, talks about the growth of his Dallas-based gym and his approach in training the next wave of MMA stars (27:28). Plus, Saud discusses his training with Mavericks forward Kristaps Porzingis and Saud's own hopes of winning the 2019 Helwani Nose Award. Next, UFC flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko talks about her role in a Halle Berry movie and why Katlyn Chookagian poses the best challenge to her belt in February (48:09). After that, Alberto El Patron discusses Saturday's Combate Americas matchup against Tito Ortiz and why this will be his last MMA fight ever (1:04:48). Israel Adesanya, the UFC middleweight champion, then joins Ariel for "Matzah Ballin'" to talk about the origins of his name, Nigerian food traditions, life in New Zealand, practicing gratitude and much more (1:28:52). Then, Tony Ferguson discusses how the Khabib fight came together, why they're holding it off until April, his training camp strategy, what it would feel like to beat the undefeated lightweight champion, if he expects he'll speak with Khabib before the fight and more (2:09:18). After that, UFC heavyweight Alistair Overeem reacts to the troubling news surrounding Walt Harris, whom he was supposed to fight this upcoming weekend. Instead, he'll fight Jairzinho Rozenstruik, who he and Ariel discus (2:33:27). Lastly, "The Haggis Hunter" Robert Whiteford on his next Bellator fight, if he plans to return to the UFC and more (2:48:08).
The Business of MMA

The Business of MMA

2019-11-2701:30:274

In a special episode devoted to the ins and outs of growing MMA all throughout the world, Ariel first speaks to Martin Lewandowski, the co-founder and CEO of KSW, Poland's leading fight organization, which Lewandowski says easily exceeds the UFC's popularity in the country. But he explains how difficult it was to grow the league from its origins up until now, where he says fighters routinely make over $1 million per fight. Then, fighter-turned-trainer-turned-manager Tiki Ghosn talks about his career arc, Instagram's role in changing how much fighters make and the potential UFC champion he has waiting in the wings (28:15). Lastly, brand builder Hans Molenkamp discusses his direct work with the athletes and agents, including the difficulties of parting ways with fighters he admires. And, he explains how he inked a deal with Monster Energy and how even the top fighters can cost themselves large sums of money by failing to market themselves properly (46:45). Plus, the latest on Khabib vs. Ferguson (1:14:02) and TST's Minimalist Tip of the Week (1:20:30).
In a history-making episode of the show, former UFC champion Chris Weidman looks back on his "devastating" loss to Dominick Reyes last month. With a Jon Jones matchup likely awaiting him had he beaten Reyes, Weidman tells Ariel whether he looked past Reyes and also if he feels any pressure to retire now. After that, Jairzinho Rozenstruik -- who will fight Alistair Overeem next week in place of Walt Harris Jr. -- discusses his possible path to a UFC heavyweight title shot and what it's like fighting under such circumstances (27:39). Then, former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold rejoins the show to discuss his recent travels, new business ventures, bull-wrestling experiences and why he doesn't feel compelled to rush back to fighting (45:46). Next, one of the all-time greats, Randy "The Natural" Couture describes how he's feeling physically and emotionally after suffering a heart attack last month (1:04:20). After that, MMA coach Edmond Tarverdyan - former coach of Ronda Rousey - talks about the development of a potential up-and-coming UFC star: Edmen Shabazyan, the 21-year-old middleweight who knocked out Brad Tavares at Madison Square Garden earlier this month (1:20:33). Then, after largely staying silent for the past seven months, former UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw explains why he took the substance that landed him a two-year suspension from USADA, how he's spent his time away from the sport and why he feels it's important to be transparent about the entire situation (1:40:06). Plus, he reveals the fight he wants when he eventually makes his return. Then, in her debut appearance on the show, female fighting pioneer Gina Carano tells Ariel why she's been ducking him for the last eight years (2:02:20). In the interview, Ariel thanks Carano for sparking one of the biggest turning points in his career before the old friends talk about her indelible impact on MMA, her gut-wrenching 2009 loss to Cris Cyborg, the stunning story behind the UFC deal and Rousey fight that never happened, if she ever thinks about fighting anymore, why she's thrown herself into acting, her new role as Cara Dune in "The Mandalorian" on Disney + and so much more. Lastly, another former UFC middleweight champion, Robert Whittaker, discusses his loss to Israel Adesanya at UFC 242 and who and where he hopes to fight next (3:02:20).
Veteran combat sports reporter Gareth A. Davies joins Ariel to talk for the first time about his recent heart attack and how he's feeling. He also discusses his visit with Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury's flirtation with MMA, Ben Askren's retirement, Conor McGregor Watch and this weekend's Bellator Europe card.
Ariel opens the show by talking to Junior dos Santos about the severity of the UFC heavyweight contender's infected leg, his thoughts on Curtis Blaydes and more. After that, Ben Askren tells Ariel he's decided to retire from fighting, choosing instead to focus on rehabbing his hip injury and to pursue his many other interests (23:09). He also discusses whether he regrets not joining the UFC earlier, and if he ever even loved fighting. Next, WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley dives into the crossover between wrestling and MMA and how he would fare in today's world of combat sports (1:03:14). Cesar Gracie, trainer to the Diaz brothers, then talks about the latest with each brother before explaining why newer MMA fans don't know the real Nick Diaz (1:28;16). Next, the UFC's Cory Sandhagen discusses his title fight hopes, his interest in transcendentalism and the significance of his January bantamweight showdown with Frankie Edgar (1:50:38). Then, Yoel Romero tells Ariel why he's the top contender in the middleweight division, comparing himself to Muhammad Ali in the process before directing a message toward the champion, Israel Adesanya (2:14:16). After that, two winners from this past weekend in Brazil, James Krause (2:33:52) and Paul Craig (2:52:31) discuss their victories and hopes for their careers moving forward. Lastly, the 2019 Dan Hodge winner Bo Nickal tells Ariel why he's decided to begin a career in MMA following a decorated collegiate wrestling career at Penn State (3:04:18).
With Ariel experiencing separation anxiety from his partner-in-crime, he welcomes on Chael Sonnen from Israel to talk about Bellator's popularity in the country, his impressions of Ariel's interview with Nick Diaz and if he thinks Diaz will return in 2020 to fight Jorge Masvidal. Plus, they talk about hummus. Then, old friend NewYorkRic breaks his silence on his new gig before discussing who UFC champions Stipe Miocic and Israel Adesanya should fight next, who Rose Namajunas could target in her return, whether Corey Anderson or Dominick Reyes could take down Jon Jones in a title fight and much more (30:46). Plus, the debut of TST's Minimalist Tip of the Week (1:01:42)!
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson makes his debut on the show by first discussing his unforgettable experience at UFC 244, what he told Jorge Masvidal after the fight and the biggest differences between MMA and pro wrestling. And on a personal note, he opens up about his battles with anxiety and depression and how he manages to stay upbeat during tough times. Next, UFC heavyweight Francis Ngannou talks about his comments on Alexander Volkov and possibly fighting Jon Jones next (31:50). Then, in her first interview since Jessica Andrade knocked her out at UFC 237, former strawweight champion "Thug" Rose Namajunas gets emotional talking about that loss and how it drove her to some dark places (48:31). She explains how winning the belt in November 2017 changed her for the worse after discussing why she's in a better place now and if she plans to fight in the UFC again (48:31). After that, a wide-ranging conversation with Nick Diaz about what he's been up to in his five-year suspension from the UFC, why he feels he's the true owner of the BMF belt, some bones to pick with Masvidal, if he believes he'll return to the Octagon in 2020 and much more (1:13:35). Then, UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic discusses the belt and if it feels any different having it the second time around, his physical health and the guy he hopes to fight next - and it's not who you may think (2:03:36). Next, former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley tells Ariel who he wants to fight next and why, with some shots taken at Colby Covington in the process (2:22:16). And then, 42-year-old Demien Maia talks about his win over Ben Askren a few weeks ago, if he regrets never winning a belt and how he's managed to perform at a high level for so long (2:35:51). The show's final guest, Katlyn "Blonde Fighter" Chookagian takes some jabs at Ariel before staking her claim for a title shot versus Valentina Shevchenko (2:54:25).
Ken Shamrock In Studio

Ken Shamrock In Studio

2019-11-0601:09:522

"The World's Most Dangerous Man" Ken Shamrock joins Ariel in studio for an in-depth conversation on a multitude of topics: his return to pro wrestling at 55 years old, the current state of MMA, his relationship with his brother Frank, what really happened the night he pulled out of the Kimbo Slice fight, his greatest regret and much more.
Ariel begins the show by sharing his thoughts on a jam-packed UFC 244. The show's first guest, Darren Till, talks to Ariel about his decision defeat of Kelvin Gastelum in his middleweight debut (4:18). Then, BMF champion Jorge Masvidal discusses his victory over Nate Diaz, his next big challenge and why he's interested in a boxing match against Canelo Alvarez (24:10). Kevin Lee then joins Ariel to shed light on his knockout of Gregor Gillespie and where he'll go from here (49:00). After that, Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson gives Ariel insight on his win over Vicente Luque (1:02:45) and "The Black Beast" Derrick Lewis explains why Blagoy Ivanov was one the toughest guys he's ever fought (1:11:55). While dealing with car trouble, welterweight Mike Perry talks with Ariel about his upcoming matchup with Geoff Neal at UFC 245 (1:27:20) and Walt Harris shares the latest on his missing daughter before explaining how the MMA community can help find her by emailing findaniahblanchard@gmail.com with any information (1:46:35). The new face of the UFC himself, Israel Adesanya, joins Ariel in studio to weigh in on Darren Till's performance, the BMF fight, his next opponent, when he'll fight Jon Jones and how he plans on staying grounded while experiencing this newfound fame (2:05:26). And finally, Audie Attar of Paradigm Sports Management and MMA manager Tim Simpson talk with Ariel about what it's like representing Adesanya and Leon Edwards (1:46:35). Plus, they weigh in on the latest with McGregor's next fight, his relationship with the UFC and McGregor's eagerness to overcome the legal and moral challenges he'll face in 2020
With the highly-anticipated battle for the BMF title just days away, Jorge Masvidal's manager Abraham Kawa joins Ariel to discuss the resurrection of the man they call "Gamebred" (36:01). Masvidal himself even makes an unannounced cameo! Plus, Kawa reveals what really happened between he and fellow manager Ali Abdelaziz in Las Vegas earlier this month. But before all that, ESPN's Marc Raimondi talks with Ariel about the crazy 35-50 hours last week that threw the MMA world into a frenzy, the relationship between the UFC and USADA, Masvidal's mainstream stardom and why this fight is so inspiring.
With UFC 244 just days away, Ariel begins the show by sharing an important message about Walt Harris, whose daughter went missing last week. Then, Ariel gives the latest on Conor McGregor's next opponent, Randy Couture's health and what the heck happened with Nate Diaz last week. The show's first guest, Frenchman Cyril Gane, talks to Ariel about his win in Singapore this past weekend (24:36) and "The Big Pygmy" Justin Wren talks about his latest humanitarian efforts (38:00). Next, Ariel chats with the new Bellator welterweight champion Douglas Lima about how it feels to own the belt (56:40) and then Ariel plays his interview with Nate Diaz, which he conducted on Sept. 19 at Madison Square Garden. In it, they discuss Diaz's relationship with Jorge Masvidal, the making of the BMF belt, if any other fighters deserve to fight in the BMF division and more (1:09:20). After that, "The California Kid" Urijah Faber discusses his Dec. 14 fight, why he wants to stay with the UFC for the rest of his career and more (2:06:10). Action Bronson then makes another appearance in the show, this time bonding with Ariel in Brooklyn while talking MMA over matzah ball soup (2:23:42). UFC welterweight Ben Askren then discusses whether he is considering ending his MMA career after two consecutive losses, if he loves fighting and if he thinks the UFC will even offer him another fight (2:44:30). After that, Masvidal fields questions from the media about fighting Diaz for the BMF belt, if he'll try to defend the belt if he wins it, why he respects Diaz and more (3:04:40). And finally, Diaz himself takes questions from reporters and clarifies what happened last week and explains why he believes the UFC was out to get him (3:34:14).
Greg Hardy & Frank Mir

Greg Hardy & Frank Mir

2019-10-2301:05:334

UFC heavyweight Greg Hardy calls in to tell Ariel about why he's fighting Alexander Volkov in Russia on 18 days' notice. He also opens up about his feelings on last Friday's controversial overturned decision before discussing his handling of criticism and the media's portrayal of him (41:16). But before that, MMA legend Frank Mir talks about his upcoming Bellator bout and his own daughter's decision to become an MMA fighter (2:55). Plus, ESPN's Marc Raimondi on Hardy and if he has a chance at winning his appeal of the overturned call and the drama surrounding Paige VanZant and Maycee Barber (25:53).
Ariel Helwani's MMA Show begins with a quick recap of UFC Fight Night and then UFC lightweight Joe Lauzon leads off the show by discussing how it felt to win on Friday -- his first win in three years (6:58). Next, flyweight Maycee "The Future" Barber joins Ariel in studio to talk to Ariel about her 8-0 MMA start, why she rarely watches film of her opponents, her partnership with Ben Askren, what it's like to have her father as her manager, why she wants to fight Paige VanZant and much more (25:38). Plus, Ariel challenges the 21-year-old Barber to a game that puts her knowledge of the 1990s to the test. Then, UFC welterweight Niko Price discusses his October 12 win over James Vick (1:20:40) and after that, Bellator's Dillon Danis explains why he felt he had to pay for a bullied teen's mixed martial arts lessons (1:40:30). Then, pro wrestler Triple H and boxer Tyson Fury join Ariel to discuss Fury's new gig with the WWE (2:03:37). Next, just days after his Boston win, Dominick Reyes confidently explains how he's trained his whole career to fight Jon Jones, why he feels disrespected and why he feels he's ready to "knock out" the UFC's light heavyweight champion (2:23:42). Ariel then speaks with "Meatball" Molly McCann about her less-than-stellar performance Friday night, her experiences in Boston and who she hopes to fight next in the flyweight division (2:42:40). Lastly, Ariel delivers his final thoughts on the Greg Hardy controversy, the latest on Conor McGregor's return and Ariel's own career update.
Will Georges St-Pierre fight again? ESPN's Mark Kriegel gives his thoughts following his sit-down interview with the retired UFC welterweight fighter (31:28). Plus, Kriegel, a highly-esteemed boxing writer, gets emotional discussing the brutal realities of covering the sport. After that, the director of the new 30 for 30 documentary, "Chuck & Tito," discusses the inspiration behind the film and the famed rivalry between Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz that defined the early days of the UFC (57:35). ESPN's Marc Raimondi also discusses his time spent backstage at last week's PFL event and the recent California State Athletic Commission hearing, which produced some notable outcomes (5:18).
Happy Canadian Thanksgiving! Ariel Helwani begins the show with holiday cheer and shares his thoughts on Joanna Jedrzejczyk's victory over Michelle Waterson and Cub Swanson's win over Kron Gracie in Fight of the Night. Then, Jedrzejczyk joins to delve more into the story of whether or not she would make weight, share updates on the injury to her foot, and how important this win was for her (7:00). Then, UFC strawweight contender Tatiana Suarez explains how her neck injury is the reason why she has yet to call out for a title shot (27:00). Next, UFC's Mike Davis talks about his UFC FN win with just a few days' notice and his surprise that the fight against Thomas Gifford wasn't stopped sooner (43:00). After that, David Michaud speaks about advancing to the PFL WW Finals on December 31 on ESPN2 and how he drives to his fights because he's afraid to fly (58:00). Then, former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez explains why he's so excited about his new contract in pro-wrestling, his debut on Smackdown and his title matchup against Brock Lesner at the end of the month. (1:14:00). Plus, after going 15-0 in Bellator, Aj McKee joins via Facetime to discuss being No. 1 on the list of Top 25 Fighters Under 25 and if he's surprised that he ranked that high. Also, he describes the feeling of he and his father fighting on the same card, and both winning (1:34:00). After that, Ariel catches up with Quinton "Rampage" Jackson who details his upcoming fight at Bellator in December against Fedor Emelianenko and shares family updates (1:49:00). Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker comes aboard and tells Ariel about what drew him to MMA, how the birth of his son fueled his ambition to train for boxing and jujitsu and life after the plane crash (2:08:00). ONE FLW WGP Champion Demetrius "Mighty Mouse" Johnson talks about his wins over Yuya Wakamatsu, Tatsumitsu Wada, and Danny Kingad to win the eight-man competition and gives Ariel his dental regimen. He also discusses a recent diagnosis and how it affects his fighting (2:28:00). From New Zealand, City Kickboxing head coach Eugene Bareman expresses that UFC 243 was the best night of his professional career and expands on how things have changed for him and Israel Adesanya following the win (2:48:00). And finally, Brian Ortega discusses needing two surgeries after a title loss, the reality check he received to get himself in better shape and his upcoming matchup with the Korean Zombie Chang Sung Jung in December (3:09:00).
Ariel Helwani's MMA Show begins with Ariel's thoughts on Israel Adesanya's rapid rise to UFC superstardom and the race for "Fighter of the Year." Then, UFC middleweight Jarod Cannonier weighs in on who he may fight next now that Adesanya owns the title (27:42). Plus, he tells Ariel how his stone collection makes him happier and why he no longer practices religion. Next, UFC strawweight Mackenzie Dern opens up about her journey back to the Octagon, where she returns this upcoming weekend in Tampa just four months after giving birth (45:47). PFL's Mike Tyson then updates Ariel on his latest activities, like his podcast and his involvement in the marijuana industry. He also admits to Ariel that he's not proud of the person he used to be before explaining how Conor McGregor can learn from his mistakes (1:08:53). Then, from her home in Singapore, ONE Championship's Miesha Tate explains her role with the organization and why she's so excited about it (1:40:44). Plus, the always-outspoken former fighter sounds off on the BMF belt and why it's a bad look for the UFC. After that, UFC featherweight Max Holloway tells Ariel about his efforts to get a UFC event in Hawaii before responding to McGregor's August comments about him (2:00:24). Bellator's Jake Hager then discusses how Chris Jericho convinced him to join AEW and how he's balancing his wrestling and MMA careers (2:22:49). From Australia, Brad Riddell joins (2:38:24) and then lightweight Dan Hooker discusses his UFC 243 victory and why he wants Dustin Poirier next (2:54:05). And finally, Adesanya himself discusses why Saturday night felt like a title defense, when he got the idea for his wild introduction, why he wasn't nervous, how he could tell Robert Whittaker wasn't prepared to beat him and when he could fight Jon Jones (3:07:37).
Chris Jericho Exclusive

Chris Jericho Exclusive

2019-10-0300:55:412

In his first interview since the big launch of AEW on TNT, professional wrestling legend Chris Jericho joins Ariel in studio to discuss his initial impressions of last night, how the promotion will compete with the likes of WWE and NXT, TV ratings, TNT's influence, his career and more. Plus, he dishes on his beef with Conor McGregor and Cage Warriors lightweight Paddy Pimblett joins at the end of the show to break some news about his next fight (46:29).
The last time the UFC hosted an event in Melbourne, Ronda Rousey suffered the biggest defeat of her career, a defeat she's never quite recovered from. ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, who covered Rousey extensively during her rise and fall, tells Ariel about the painful days she spent with Rousey following the devastating loss to Holly Holm at UFC 193 (22:53). But before that, ESPN's Marc Raimondi talks about a huge night in professional wrestling and Jarod Cannonier's impressive performance last weekend. NewYorkRic also joins from Melbourne to talk about the upcoming UFC 243 card, the overall interest in the slate of fights headlined by Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya, and the nastiest food you've ever heard of (1:18:22).
Will the Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic rubber match happen? ESPN's Marc Raimondi opens the show by discussing that possible fight, as well as the controversial eye poke that ended last weekend's headliner in Mexico City. Plus, Marc and Ariel speculate about some of the headlining fights expected to happen in the coming months (9:30). And, just days before the debut of the UFC in Denmark, Ehsan Faizzad of the Danish newspaper, The Weekend, takes Ariel behind the growth of MMA in the country, the Danish perception of Jack Hermansson and the popularity of the "polarizing" Mark O. Madsen (22:11). Lastly, Irish journalist Sean Sheehan of SevereMMA.com digs deep into the tremendous growth of Bellator in Ireland, which begs the question...is Bellator more popular than the UFC in the Emerald Isle? (40:28) And, he discusses the next big thing in Irish MMA (55:14).
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Comments (88)

ILLegal ELbow

#tool

Dec 3rd
Reply

ILLegal ELbow

Fony Terguson, worst trash talker in the game

Dec 3rd
Reply (1)

Darius Bell

love this show

Nov 27th
Reply (1)

Gus

"I don't wannet the puppet"! - Yoel Romero

Nov 19th
Reply (1)

Bryan Finn

Did the Rock not appear on UFC unfiltered podcast in June 2016

Nov 12th
Reply

Mark Ruffin

___ l4

Oct 17th
Reply

sean hanna

WWe old men play fighting ffs no 1 cares over 14 please no maa fan likes WWe

Oct 8th
Reply

Kjartan Berg Rútsson

Please stop it with the wwe talk. Real fight fans dont give a shit about that fake shit.

Oct 4th
Reply

Mike Quarcini

pick one yuju UFC or wec we're sick of hearing about fake ass wrestling

Oct 4th
Reply

Remy

Gamebread always a great interview

Sep 28th
Reply

kenneth garland

esparza lost one and 3

Sep 23rd
Reply

Glen Sutton

bv

Sep 4th
Reply

Jason Holman

Is Jorge back at work at the Cuban conveience store in Miami?? what a piece of shit!!

Jul 9th
Reply (2)

Dennis Hoyos

ml h . ml ml I m .

Jul 8th
Reply

Steven J

0:47

Jun 25th
Reply

Richard Dickinson

poor episode, just Ariel being butthurt about Dana as per usual.

Jun 22nd
Reply

DA UNDERGROUND

briliynt

Jun 3rd
Reply

Rob Vivian

Uuuuugh, I f'ing hate Gareth A. Dickead

May 30th
Reply

Robson Luiz Ducci Pereira

the Portuguese translator for the Michel Pereira was the worse I've ever heard. connor "mcgregnor"

May 21st
Reply

Mark Ruffin

Has she failed any tests?

May 16th
Reply
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