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Ariel Helwani
Courtesy The MMA Hour.

UFC caves in, restores Ariel Helwani’s media credentials

MMAFighting.com announced late yesterday the the UFC had restored the media credentials of it’s editorial team, including lead reporter Ariel Helwani, photographer Esther Lin and video director E. Casey Leydon.

The lifetime ban from covering UFC events was also lifted.

The reversal comes after a public rebuke from the combat sports community, who disagreed with the UFC’s actions of escorting Helwani and his colleagues out of the arena at UFC 199.

 

MMA Crossfire Vault: MMA journalist Ariel Helwani escorted out of UFC 199, UFC declines to comment

The UFC released the following statement:

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.

Helwani told his side of the story on a somewhat emotional episode of his “MMA Hour” show.

Helwani in particular thanked the MMA community for supporting him, and more specifically Kevin Iole, and the MMA media.

Social media reaction was swift:

 

https://twitter.com/allelbows/status/739936512549081088?lang=en

https://twitter.com/JESnowden/status/739895415621980161

@kenaiandrews

Categories
UFC

Kenai is a former Postmedia Network news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.
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