releases statement following Ariel Helwani being banned from UFC events

On Saturday night, Mixed Martial Arts reporter Ariel Helwani was escorted out of the Forum in California by UFC officials prior to Michael Bisping’s dramtic UFC title win at UFC 199.

Helwani who previously worked at FOX and still works for reported that Brock Lesnar would return for UFC 200. Hours after Helwani announced the news, the UFC aired a promo video for UFC 200 during UFC 199 confirming Helwani’s report.

The UFC also removed MMA Fighting photo journalist Esther Lin and MMA Fighting videographer Casey Leydon from the event with Helwani.

Kevin Lockland (the VP of Editorial Operations at SB Nation) & Bryan Tucker (managing editor of MMA Fighting) released a statement on Sunday night adderessing the situation. The statement reads:

MMA Fighting and SB Nation fully support Ariel, Casey, Esther and the entire MMA Fighting staff. And we appreciate the support we have received from the MMA Fighting audience and community.

The UFC has not been in contact with us since revoking the credentials of Ariel, Esther and Casey. But we will keep you, our audience, informed of the situation.

Ariel will address what occurred at UFC 199 on tomorrow’s MMA Hour. The show begins at 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT.

Stay tuned to the MMA Hour today for more updates.

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