"You try to set us up" - UFC welterweight confronts Ariel Helwani for using fighters to attack promotion during interviews

Ariel Helwani (left) has a long-standing feud with UFC and Dana White (right). [via Getty Images]
Ariel Helwani (left) has a long-standing feud with UFC and Dana White (right). [via Getty Images]

Prominent mixed martial arts reporter Ariel Helwani was accused by a UFC welterweight of utilizing interviews to further his long-standing feud against the promotion.

Joaquin Buckley, who is currently ranked No.11 in the welterweight division, recently spoke to Helwani in an interview on The MMA Hour. He expressed his belief that the journalist used fighter interviews to push his own narrative against the promotion.

Buckley recalled a clip he said seen online but was unsure if it was a Helwani impersonator or a clip of the reporter himself.

"It was a lot of things that you was talking about that with the fighters and with the UFC and stuff like that. But if that wasn’t you, then I guess you know. A lot of things. Well, just what a lot of fighters – you’ve been in the business for a long time. Obviously, you have the respect, what you do and you do it very well. You got a lot of facts right that you keep down about different fighters."

'New Mansa' then alleged Helwani's questions could lead to the fighters getting into trouble with their organization.

"But me personally, I feel like when we come on your show, you try to use us as a weapon against the UFC. You use your platform but you try to set us up lowkey. Certain questions that fighters, you already know if we have those conversations could have us get into trouble with what we work for. You know better."

Check out Joaquin Buckley's full comments to Ariel Helwani below (2:25):


What happened between Ariel Helwani and the UFC?

Ariel Helwani is one of the most recognizable names and faces amongst the media personnel that cover mixed martial arts.

However, Helwani is not on the best terms with the premier mixed martial arts promotion in the world nor its president Dana White. Back in 2016, Helwani leaked the news about WWE superstar Brock Lesnar's return to the octagon at UFC 200.

Helwani's report, hours before the official announcement by the promotion, led to him being banned for life from all events. The ban was later lifted after widespread criticism from fans and fighters alike. However, the relationship between Helwani and White has not yet returned to its former cordial nature.

Check out one of Ariel Helwani and Dana White's interactions from friendlier times below:


Poll : How do you perceive Ariel Helwani's interviewing style in general?

Effective and fair

Biased and leading

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Edited by Ritwik Kumar