Ayu-bo-wan Ariel! Can we talk about what happens to opponents after fighting Justin Gaethje?

Michael Johnson 3-6

Eddie Alvarez 1-3-1

Dustin Poirier 6-2 (The anomaly)

James Vick 0-4

Edson Barboza 2-4

Donald Cerrone 0-4-1

Tony Ferguson 0-4

(The others are too recent to be statistically meaningful)

BTW (Ayu-bo-wan means long health and prosperity)

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Hi ariel! With Anderson silva being the recent inductee, do you believe this is the best ufc hall of fame class 2023. Ps where's our good friend el cubano

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I reached out to El 🇨🇺. Man’s busy, won’t put his business out there but the balance of life gets us all.

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You're the man Louis.

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Hey Ariel,

You mentioned that Jorge jumping Leon should lead to Jorge being considered for the next title shot, and used the example of Conor and the Brooklyn incident. Do you think this incentivizes fighters to act off the wall in a violent manor in hopes of getting a desired fight or title shot?

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Good day Ariel,

What do you make of Jennifer Maia’s claims that Casey O’Neill may have been “greased” up during the fight to give her an unfair advantage? Is there any truth to this big claim? Is anyone investigating this?



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What’s up Ariel,

What a scene this weekend in London. My question has to do with the legacy of Kamaru Usman. Before the Leon fights, people were starting to mention him in the conversation for welterweight GOAT along with GSP. Now after the two losses and some of his wins not aging as well (Woodley and Masvidal x2) I’m wondering where you rank him? Big shoutout to the whole crew for all the hard work you guys do! Viva Heelwani!

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Regarding Colby as the backup fighter this past Saturday, If Usman was not able to fight for whatever reason and Colby was to step in...how does that work Regarding Leon? Does he have to accept this different opponent at the last minute? Does the contract change regarding his pay?

I would think all of this would have been talked about and negotiated before Saturday but Leon said he had no clue Colby was even there to weigh in. Thanks

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Mar 21, 2023·edited Mar 21, 2023

What is up Ariel. Shout out to our guy Rocky, I can’t explain how happy I am for that man.

Anyways, what a banger of a fight we have in this Saturdays main event. I will actually be in attendance here in San Antonio. My question is about the future for both of these fighters after a win. What direction would each fighter go? We can almost pencil it in for a Chito x O’Malley rematch if Chito is able to come out on top, but what about Sandhagen? I feel like a ton of people are sleeping on Cory and where he would be sitting if he were to win. Just want to know what you all are thinking.

Also huge congrats on the new Showtime show. Happy and excited for you Helwani.

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Hey Ariel,

Another note, in the interview with Dana pre-fight, when asked about Colby being the backup and if that meant he was next in line for the title shot, Dana CLEARLY says "well that I don't know". Then in the post fight press conference he says with 100% conviction Colby is next no matter what.

Now yesterday, in the interview with Mike Heck, Colby says that Hunter told him he was next IF Leon wins. That is really interesting to me and makes me think why wouldn't Colby get the title shot if Kamaru wins but would 100% no matter what, only if Leon wins. My question is, what do you think would be the reason for this?

Is it because fans don't really want Kamaru vs. Colby again and it wouldn't sell much, etc. or do you think Colby didn't really want this match up either? I feel like it's a little bit of both. In my opinion, if Colby truly believed he could beat Kamaru easily (like he is saying now), why wouldn't he have made his case to Dana for that title shot regardless of who won, why would he be okay with only getting the title shot if Leon won?

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Good afternoon to the GOAT of 10/7s and Crew!

Here's a few questions for you. Did you hear

Colby's press conference?

He made a mention about journalists talking about fighter pay and how journalists should pay fighters and how they profit off the fighters. I know you spoke on this topic not that long ago, but do you think Colbys remarks about journalists profiting off the fighters and how they should pay the fighters was a jab at you in particular?

Also Colby vs Khamzat is one of those fights I pray happens at 170 (probably not with Khamzat making the switch back to middleweight) Do you believe this fight can headline a PPV without a title on the line?

Thank you for your time, and continue to dish out those 10/7s

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Hey Ariel, greetings from London. Matt here from the UFC side of things with your friends at BT Sport.

Off the back of Leon Edwards UFC 286 title defence and Dana White's pretty quick decision to give Colby Covington the next shot... It got me thinking, If Conor McGregor beats Michael Chandler at 170, and Leon wants to fight again in the summer (Colby Pending). Is the UFC manifesting behind the scenes a Conor McGregor vs Colby Covington championship match-up towards the end of the year?

A UK vs Ireland match up (Leon/Conor) would be incredible, but I can imagine Dana and UFC salivating at rolling out the red carpet for a promo tour between the microphone behemoths (Conor and Colby).

Nether the less, Leon smokes Colby IMO. But what are your thoughts?

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First, congrats on the Ariel Helwani basketball show my brotha! Can’t wait to listen to you chop up some hoop talk.

On a separate note, Dana White’s post-fight presser on Saturday was a real doozy. He really seems apathetic and over it all. His bizarre responses got me thinking - how do you think the final days of his public reign will eventually play out?

And a short one for GC. How we feeling about the Falcons flurry of early free agency moves?

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Hello Ariel, you’re the man. I’m a sophomore Journalism student at UMD and you’re by far my favorite journalist, keep up the great work. I wanna ask you about my former favorite fighter, Khamzat Chimaev. When you and the gang were discussing who at 170 should get a title shot, I couldn’t help but notice that Chimaev’s name was not brought up. I can’t blame you guys for this, given the uncertainty with his weight, but I would like to know what you all think is next for Chimaev. Would you agree that if he stays at 170 and gets another win, then his next fight after that should be a title shot? Or assuming he moves up to 185 permanently, what do you think it would take for him there to get a title shot? 2 ranked wins would be enough to do it I would think. Or maybe just 1 win inside the top 10 would be enough, given the relative weakness of that division? What do you think is in the cards for Chimaev? Thank you so much and keep on doing your thing, Heelwani!

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Hey Ariel, 

I have occasionally run across famous people, but I’m mostly under the philosophy of they just wanna be left alone and go about their day.

I am curious about your thoughts/personal preferences as a person who is famous in our MMA bubble.

Is it appropriate to approach you? Ask for a picture? Would you just prefer a hello or is it OK to ask a question/strike up a conversation? What if you are with your partner or family? Are there other rules/etiquette that the average fan should know/may not consider?

I would also like to hear from GC, New York Rick, and Frank (somebody has recognized his voice in public, right?)

PS: The Dartgate 30 for 30 bit had me laughing so hard! Keep up the good work. 

-Slava P

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Hello Ariel,

The fight between Usman and Edwards last Saturday was incredible, and has led to a really interesting number one contender discussion. I feel Gilbert Burns has been criminally underrated in this debate. You mentioned it in passing on monday, but allow me to make the case. First of all, Masvidal has no chance in their upcoming fight. All this talk about if Jorge wins give him the shot, it's irrelevant, he won't. If you want to talk about earning a shot the hard way, Gilbert has taken every fight offered to him, including taking Khamzat to a decision in his last WW appearance. He could have beat Kamaru if he'd stuck to his gameplan. When he beats Masvidal his resume will be as strong as Belals (Masvidal, Magny, Thompson vs Brady, Luque, Thompson) and I think it would be a way more interesting fight, Brazil Vs. UK, exciting fighter for Leon to defend against, etc. Belal doesn't have a top 5 fight yet, let alone a top 5 win. Colby has no activity. Masvidal will lose. Khamzat has moved up and Shavkat needs a top 5 win also. I believe Gilbert Burns will be the clear nr. 1 contender after UFC 287, what do you think?

Huge fan of the show, shoutout to GC, I bet for the first time this weekend and loved it. I bet on Usman Edwards to go to a draw, was going crazy when results were read.

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Ariel, what are your thoughts on Colby’s comments on Jon Anik and who was he referring to as the “groupie journalists at mmafighting” in his interview with Mike heck?

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Hola Ariel!

I suspect some ‘behind the scenes’ dealings with the Colby title shot situation. Maybe there’s a situation where the UFC gave him some promises to let Jorge off easy?

Nonetheless I’m happy with the result as I think it’s a better situation for us fans where Jorge is able to come back and fight, whereas the UFC as a company and us fans would be losing out during his absence.

I’d also be remised if I didn’t say I wanted to see Colby fight again sooner than later. I think the situation given Colby’s recent track record IS frustrating because I don’t think he normally deserves a title shot. Colby is hands down one of the best showman the UFC has when it comes to the mic and putting on a good fight/fight week, but there has to be something going on behind the scenes to permit Dana breaking his rule of ‘I don’t make fights the night of the fight.’


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