The removal of renowned MMA journalist Ariel Helwani from UFC 199 on Saturday night ruffled a few feathers, but UFC president Dana White is standing his ground on the decision.
Helwani, along with photo journalist Esther Lin and videographer E. Casey Leydon, were shown the door before the Rockhold/Bisping main event shortly after Helwani broke the news of Brock Lesnar’s return and the UFC 202 rematch between UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz.
Helwani’s credentials were stripped and The MMA Hour host was told he was banned for life.
I love this sport & this job with all my heart. Did nothing unethical. I reported fight news. That's it. & then told we're banned for life.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) June 5, 2016
White spoke to TMZ Sports recently about the UFC’s media action towards Helwani, as well as other members of the MMA Fighting team, and revealed that the reporter isn’t necessarily banned from events entirely.
“He can cover all the events he wants, he just can’t have a credential,” said White.
White was then asked if Helwani would be allowed to enter the upcoming UFC 200 event this July by purchasing a ticket, he replied “Yes”.
TMZ then asked White if the media ban Helwani received was permanent, to which he gave a pretty cold response.
“As long as I’m here.”
UFC 199 took place this past Saturday at The Forum in Inglewood, California.
Veteran Michael Bisping managed to snatch the middleweight title from Luke Rockhold via knockout in the first round, while Dominick Cruz successfully defended his bantamweight title against Urijah Faber in the co-main event.
James McDonald, Pundit Arena