UFC rescinds Ariel Helwani's 'life ban' after two days

The organisation say they took their original decision because of the reporter’s ‘recurring tactics’.

Helwani will be back covering UFC 200.
Helwani will be back covering UFC 200.
Image: MMA Fighting/SB Nation

MMAFIGHTING.COM REPORTER ARIEL Helwani has had his credentials restored by the UFC.

Helwani, along with colleagues Casey Leydon and Esther Lin, were kicked out of UFC 199 on Saturday night and issued with life bans after reporting that Brock Lesner would return to the organisation for UFC 200.

However, in a statement last night, the UFC decided to give — part of SB Nation — a second chance:

“Following a conversation with the editorial team at SB Nation, UFC will not prevent 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.”

On his MMA Hour show yesterday, Helwani went into some detail on his often turbulent relationship with the UFC and what he believed happened.

“The last thing I want to do is sit on news. If you’re sitting on it, you’re not doing it right.

“I felt deep down inside that (Dana White) didn’t want to do that to me but he was doing what he was told by his partner (Zuffa co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta),” Helwani said.

“He may have been upset that I beat him to the punch on announcing the Lesnar news.”

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Steve O'Rourke

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