Longtime MMA reporter Ariel Helwani and the UFC have been at odds before. With the most notable being when the promotion eliminated his press credentials for a short time when he revealed the return of Brock Lesnar before the UFC did.
However, the UFC took another swing at Helwani when they personally had him removed from Showtime Sports, as he was brought aboard to help with coverage of the upcoming boxing super fight between UFC Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather.
Helwani broke the news himself via Twitter:
Not working for @SHOsports anymore on the May/Mac tour. Just learned UFC specifically asked to have me removed. Incredibly disappointed.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) July 11, 2017
Took red eye from NY to LA only to get this news moments ago. Still credentialed for the tour and will also be in Toronto and NY. All good.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) July 11, 2017
This was a dream opportunity. I'm obviously very bummed but will keep on keeping on. Thank you, as always, for the support. Much love.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) July 11, 2017
Upon hearing of Helwani’s removal from his Showtime Sports position, some folks from the MMA world have offered their opinion on the matter through Twitter:
that's very very unfortunate...such is life in MMA I suppose, but that doesn't make it better— Sarah Kaufman (@mmasarah) July 11, 2017
I wouldn't say ariel is negative...he's a journalist and reports on situations without sugar coating them. Doesn't play sides— Sarah Kaufman (@mmasarah) July 11, 2017
Beyond idiotic and moronic. You are one of the best journalist in all of fighting. Athletes are lucky to have to be covered by you.— Tim Kennedy (@TimKennedyMMA) July 11, 2017
--— James Moontasri (@jmoontasri) July 11, 2017
--— Jocelyn J Lybarger (@mmajocelyn) July 11, 2017
Nobody from the UFC or Showtime Sports have commented on the matter.
(Update: Ariel Helwani just tweeted the following a short time ago.)
And in case there's any confusion, the decision to remove me from Showtime was 100% Dana White's call. He fought for it and won, again.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) July 11, 2017