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Ariel Helwani Dealt Devastating Blow By The UFC Ahead Of Mayweather/McGregor Fight

Respected MMA journalist Ariel Helwani broke some rather unfortunate news today regarding his involvement with SHOWTIME’s coverage of August’s boxing matchup between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor.

When we think ‘MMA journalism’, it’s hard for us not to picture the ever-present force that is Ariel Helwani. For years now, he has established himself as the ‘go-to guy’ when anything of note happens in mixed martial arts and his YouTube talkshow The MMA Hour is one of the sport of MMA’s most-watched programs.

His bold approach to his job has endeared him to many in recent times, and it has been a combination of that and his generally calm demeanor that has earned him something a cult-following among those faithful to the sport. However, Helwani found himself on the wrong side of the notoriously fiery Dana White after an infamous incident on the night of last year’s UFC 199, the card that came just prior to the promotion’s landmark show at UFC 200.

Ariel broke the news that the former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar would be making his long-awaited comeback to the octagon after years on the sidelines to face an unnamed opponent at UFC 200, but did so before the UFC could spring the surprise on the unsuspecting UFC 199 viewers who had tuned in to see Michael Bisping defeat Luke Rockhold in the card’s shocking main event fixture.

Helwani and two colleagues were given lifetime bans from all future UFC events and his publication, MMAFighting’s media credentials were stripped. Thankfully, the MMA community collectively rushed to Ariel’s aid and sure enough, the ban was overturned, but still, the UFC’s president White seemed far from happy with how things played out.

White has always been known as one who can be ruthless with members of the media but today, a tweet from Helwani confirmed that the UFC had specifically requested his absence from SHOWTIME’s coverage of the ongoing Mayweather/McGregor tour, something that speaks volumes on how they feel about his presence in what could well be the biggest night in combat sports history.

Ariel was, of course, classy as ever in his response to the revelation but there is no doubt that the weight of what has just transpired will weigh heavily on his heart over the coming weeks and months as we build towards this truly monumental occasion.

Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena


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Author: Cillian Cunningham

Lead mixed martial arts writer who can be contacted at [email protected]