UFC Lifts Lifetime Ban On Ariel Helwani

ariel helwani

Highly-touted mixed martial arts (MMA) journalist Ariel Helwani has experienced a roller coaster of wild events over the course of the last few days.

To break it down, Helwani and two of his colleagues were essentially escorted from The Forum in Inglewood, California last Saturday (June 4, 2016) prior to the main event of UFC 199.

Helwani’s credentials were taken away, and he was handed a ludicrous lifetime ban from the UFC.

The reasoning for the move appeared to be that the UFC wasn’t too happy with Helwani breaking the news of Brock Lesnar’s return before they could air the epic UFC 200 promo video. The journalist also beat the promotion to the punch on confirming the UFC 202 rematch between featherweight champion Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz.

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Since Saturday, UFC president Dana White has commented on the situation, saying that the ban was indeed a reality, and that Helwani would have to purchase a ticket to attend UFC events in the future.

Helwani then explained the situation in full detail as well as revealing a somewhat dark past with the promotion on his show The MMA Hour today (June 6, 2016).

An emotional Helwani was clearly broken down by the news, and the mixed martial arts community was thrown into a frenzy.

The news appeared to be permanent, but apparently something has changed.

Lance Pugmire of the LA Times took to his official twitter account earlier tonight to announce that the UFC has lifted its ban on Helwani:

The UFC then released a statement confirming the report:

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“Following a conversation with the editorial team at SB Nation, UFC will not prevent MMAFighting.com from receiving media credentials to cover live UFC events. We respect the role the media plays in our sport and beyond, including MMAFighting’s ability to report news. However, in our opinion, we believe the recurring tactics used by its lead reporter extended beyond the purpose of journalism. We feel confident our position has now been adequately communicated to the SB Nation editorial team.

UFC’s goal as the world’s leading mixed martial arts promotion is to cultivate interest in its world-class athletes and events, and deliver for the fans. We will continue to introduce this sport and its athletes to new fans across the world, and we will do so by working alongside media across all platforms.”

What do you make of the situation now?