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UFC boss TRASHES media, shuts down ‘fake’ news of Khamzat Chimaev vs Israel Adesanya in Riyadh

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Dana White UFC Riyadh Saudi Arabia Khamzat Chimaev Israel Adesanya
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

UFC CEO Dana White is absolutely furious with MMA media and other news outlets as rumors of a Khamzat Chimaev vs Israel Adesanya matchup on the UFC’s June 22 card in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia started to gain traction despite apparently being completely untrue.

For quite some time, various MMA pages on social media have been putting together fan-made posters and posting them in a way that makes it look like news reports or official fight announcements. These social media posts often features real matchups, but it’s seemingly a growing trend to post unfounded rumors or even fantasy bookings as well without too much distinction.

 

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These social media posts can easily trick some people into believing they’re actually real. In this way, rumors are spread to even more accounts and sometimes even get picked up by lazy news sources, as seems to have been the case regarding Khamzat Chimaev vs Israel Adesanya at UFC Riyadh.

“Not happening. It was a fake post. All the MMA media that ran with it are the problem. Absolute CLOWNS,” Dana White said on his Instagram story, adding:

“If you hear it from the MMA media and not us, it’s probably bullshit.”

Dana White Israel Adesanya Khamzat Chimaev UFC Riyadh Saudi Arabia

Dana White’s Instagram stories

Even The Independent and subsequently Yahoo Sports! published news stories suggesting Khamzat Chimaev vs Israel Adesanya was a done deal, citing “the official Kingdom Arena website”.

“Yahoo! Sports also ran the fake Izzy vs. Khamzat fight. Yahoo! Sports ran a fake story!!! YAHOO SPORTS. That’s how bad this shit is right now. INSANITY.”

Yahoo! Sports has since deleted the article from their website, although it remains up on The Independent.

Fact check: Did the Kingdom Arena website leak Khamzat Chimaev vs Israel Adesanya for UFC Riyadh?

In this case, there was another element that had some journalists tricked as a website (kingdomarena-sa.com), seemingly representing Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Arena, is claiming Khamzat Chimaev vs Israel Adesanya is booked for the UFC’s upcoming Fight Night card in Riyadh.

However, there are a bunch of red flags that would indicate that the website isn’t legit.

First of all, the former UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya’s name is misspelled “Yisrael Adesanya” on the website. Furthermore, it says that the date is June 23 rather than June 22, and if you actually read some of the text published on kingdomarena-sa.com it’s pretty clear that it’s written in a way to try and trick the search engines.

The language is also quite weird, with sentences like “Tickets for UFC Israel Adesanya vs Khamzat Chimaev” mentioned multiple times. Tickets to the UFC’s Saudi Arabia event hasn’t gone on sale yet and the fake website is likely trying to act like a third party and trick online visitors into buying expensive ticket reservations, using a false fight announcement to lure you in.

There is no word of Khamzat Chimaev vs Israel Adesanya at the official Riyadh Season website, and Saudi fans have also noted out that the official ticket service is in fact Webook.

Israel Adesanya Khamzat Chimaev UFC Riyadh Saudi Arabia

Screenshots from kingdomarena-sa.com

Could the fight happen?

Sure! None of this is to say Khamzat Chimaev and Israel Adesanya will never fight. They seem to have been on a collision course for quite some time and it could even be that it ends up getting booked for UFC Riyadh. Who knows?

There are some indications that Chimaev could end up fighting on the card, although nowhere near a done deal or confirmed whatsoever. Saudi Arabia wants big stars and Adesanya would certainly be a fun opponent, so it would make sense in that regard.

At the moment, there’s not much more to it than that.

Read more: Ariel Helwani REVEALS which 3 KILLER opponents Leon Edwards accepted for UFC 300

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