A video made rounds on MMA reddit of Ali Abdelaziz getting arm barred by Japanese journeyman Caol Uno. Predictably, and perhaps deservedly, the jokes and memes were piled onto Abdelaziz. One commenter called him “Ali Hetapwithease.” Another noted: “The affinity for tapping quickly might just be what helps end the Ali and McGregor feud.”
Such comments are, again, both expected and deserved. The controversial manager of Dominance MMA has become the target of the ire and criticism of fans for his questionable promotional methods and his active trash-talking of fighters, most notably Tony Ferguson. Abdelaziz said of Ferguson: “He fought one time in 2017, one time in 2018 and one time in 2019. And he declined the title fight, right? He doesn’t deserve [expletive]. Sit back, when they call your number answer, get your ass in the cage and get your ass whooped. Simple.”
Talking a big game about Ferguson, the UFC’s #1 ranked lightweight contender, while having the lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov as a client, rubbed the MMA fan community the wrong way. But this was symptomatic of a bigger pattern with Abdelaziz. He is the most visible manager in the sport not just because he has the biggest clients, but because he has seemingly taken it upon himself to live vicariously through his clients.
Nonetheless, whatever your opinion of the man may be, he was a professional fighter for a minute, and his abilities (or lack thereof) as an athlete should be assessed on their own merits. And as much as it is fun to make fun of Ali for his 1-3 professional record, this fight – held at K-1 Hero’s 8 – was not that bad of a showing from the Egyptian.
He started as the aggressor, blitzing Uno with a combination before getting into a clinch and taking him down with an outer leg trip.
This was all in just the first twenty seconds. He then did some damage in the ground and pound.
Then he gets caught in an obvious arm bar attempt, slipping further and further into it before finally picking up Uno and slamming him to the ground. In doing so, Abdelaziz seals his own fate; Uno isolates his arm, and Ali taps.
It was a short fight; less than two minutes long. But Abdelaziz didn’t look like someone who was totally out of his league.
He looked like he belonged. He was winning the fight handily until he got caught.
Uno was never a championship caliber fighter, but he was close to being one, and he had a long career, during which he fought the likes of BJ Penn, Shinya Aoki, and Gleison Tibau. So, Ali fought well, given the circumstances; this wasn’t against some bum.
Ali Abdelaziz may be shady, he may be deserving of all the criticism he gets and more, but in all likelihood, he can still kick my butt. So I won’t be too hard on him for getting arm barred by Uno.