"Most people think it's too toxic and would come back to bite them" - Ariel Helwani on why no one tries to help squash his beef with Dana White

Ariel Helwani (far left), Dana White (far right) [Centre image courtesy of Ariel Helwani on YouTube]
Ariel Helwani (far left), Dana White (far right) [Centre image courtesy of Ariel Helwani on YouTube]

MMA journalist Ariel Helwani has given fans an insight into the feud between himself and Dana White.

The pair's relationship originally fell apart at UFC 199 when Helwani was reportedly thrown out of the event. Dana White has since accused him of going beyond the means of journalism. Helwani had leaked, through his own sources, that Brock Lesnar was returning to UFC 200 before the organization had announced it.

Dana White's response to Helwani's news was to allegedly call him backstage, 'push' the reporter around, remove his credentials and ban him from all future UFC events. The ban was eventually lifted.

On the latest edition of 'On the Nose' during The MMA Hour, Helwani addressed a fan question. The individual asked if anyone inside the UFC has ever tried to help heal the relationship between himself and Dana White.

Helwani responded:

"Like a serious effort? I don't think so. I think most people think it's too toxic and would come back to bite them so they stay away from it. Honestly, I don’t lose any sleep over it. It doesn't affect me what so ever. We stay in our lanes. He has minimized the amount of pot shots, and the frustrating thing was, when I was with ESPN, he would hit me below the belt and I wouldn't be allowed to respond. Now that I'm gone, he doesn't hit me. Maybe he thinks I'm irrelevant now or not worth his time. I know it bothered him that I was at ESPN, it drove him nuts. Maybe that's why he tried to end that before I even got there."

It is believed the relationship started to deteriorate after Helwani signed with Fox Sports in 2016, who broadcast the UFC.

The Canadian continued to host The MMA Hour, where fighters from the organization would sometimes speak about their issues with the UFC in an open conversation. White reportedly took issue with the fact that it was being used as a platform to speak negatively about the UFC.

Watch the full episode below:


Ariel Helwani on the UFC's treatment of Nate Diaz

Ariel Helwani believes the treatment of welterweight Nate Diaz is nothing short of a travesty. The Stockton-born fighter, who has one fight remaining on his contract, has been publicly calling for his release if the UFC doesn't find him a fight soon.

Helwani cannot understand the UFC's delay in doing so. During the same episode, the reporter noted that Diaz hasn't fought for over a year, isn't injured or banned and has been actively looking for a fight himself.

The Canadian journalist believes the promotion is icing the welterweight because they want him to fight Conor McGregor, which Diaz has refused to do.

"What is being done right now is a travesty. He is in his prime and the end of his run with the UFC and they are icing him because they want him to fight McGregor."

It remains to be seen whether Diaz's situation will be solved in the coming weeks and months. What's clear is that Ariel Helwani remains as open in his view of UFC practices as ever.

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Edited by Harvey Leonard
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