During UFC 199, MMA insider Ariel Helwani was escorted out of the building by security and told that he was banned for life. Sports Illustrated caught up with Ariel for his first interview since the unfortunate incident. Check it out.
“We were escorted out of the arena before yesterday’s main event. In short, I was told I was banned for life from covering UFC events in person because I reported the news that Brock Lesnar was close to signing a deal to fight at UFC 200. Our credentials were physically taken away. That’s the general story. They said I should have had the “professional courtesy” to clear the news with them before reporting the news. I had confirmed it with multiple sources and it ended up being right. They confirmed it on the broadcast around 3 hours after I reported it. This has never happened to any of us. Never even hinted at. I went back to my room. Esther and Casey are the very best at what they do. I would argue the best in all of sports. I’ve been working with them since 2009 and I wish this didn’t happen to them as well.”
UFC Spokesman Dave Sholler
“I’m not saying you don’t have a job to report, but in this case [with Helwani], the professional standards are to reach out [to the UFC] for comment on a story you’re about to report, even if you get a no-comment,”