Ariel Helwani is again welcome at UFC events, just two days after being given a lifetime ban. The UFC had Helwani and co-workers E. Casey Leydon and Esther Lin escorted out of the building at UFC 199 after Helwani broke the news that Brock Lesnar was returning to the UFC and Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz would headline UFC 202. On Monday night, the UFC released this 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."
Meanwhile, on Monday afternoon’s edition of The MMA Hour, Helwani addressed the banning and the years of events that lead to it. You can watch the entire two-hour video below. While that may seem like a daunting task, it’s a fascinating listen with many interesting stories.