Ariel Helwani has been taken out of a UFC event following his report about Brock Lesnar’s return at UFC 200. His report about Lesnar is considered a scoop as the UFC has not formally announced it yet. UFC feels though that Helwani might have undermined a possible deal with Lesnar for UFC 200 by announcing it ahead.
In a report by USA Today, MMAFighting.com reporter Ariel Helwani is said to have been banned for life by the UFC. He is said to have been escorted out of the stadium at UFC 199 before the main event.
Along with Helwani were photographer Esther Lin and video director E. Casey Leydon. All three have been escorted out of the event just before main event at the Forum in Inglewood, California, CBC Sports says.
According to Helwani’s post on Twitter, he was escorted out by Zuffa staff. His media credential has been taken away from him as well, as he said on his Twitter post. Though he has reported on Lesnar’s return, the UFC did make the official announcement hours after his report.
MMAFighting.com has issued a statement regarding the incident. On its statement it says that they are behind Helwani, Lin and Leydon. It has also said that the UFC has not contacted them yet regarding the incident though it will keep followers on developments regarding the issue.
UFC President Dana White has not issued any statement yet as well. He has also not appeared in the post-fight press conference. Helwani did speak to Yahoo Sports and has given his side of the story. According to him White has talked to him backstage and said that Lesnar has been upset about the scoop and that the news prior to the announcement might undermine a deal.
Helwani also claimed in the interview that White has said they don’t want him there. He also added that White has said he is too negative. Earlierhe was also fired from Fox Sports, which is a partner of the UFC in broadcasting UFC fights. Allegedly the UFC suspects he has an informant giving him news about what’s going on in the organization.