MMA reporter Ariel Helwani was, in his own words, “banned for life” from the UFC after an incident at UFC 199 this weekend. With the story beginning to gain steam in the national media, TMZ caught up with UFC boss Dana White for a comment on the situation.
White said that despite Helwani having his credentials stripped, he’s still welcome to come to the shows… if he pays for his own ticket.
White had a few words with TMZ Sports on Monday, and made it clear that he was perfectly content with Helwani coming to watch UFC events – he just can’t report on them. Upon being asked more questions about if Helwani was truly banned for life, the president simply replied, “As long as I’m here.”
During UFC 199, Helwani and his crew — videographer E. Casey Leydon and photographer Ester Lin — were escorted out of the building prior to the main event between Luke Rockhold and Michael Bisping because Helwani broke the news of Brock Lesnar making his return before the company itself unveiled a promo video announcing the news during its PPV broadcast.
On Monday, Helwani detailed the entire situation on The MMA Hour, which you can see below:
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports