The UFC last night released a statement regarding the ban of Ariel Helwani. The statement reads:
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.
Mixed Martial Arts reporter Ariel Helwani tweeted on Saturday night that he was escorted out of the Forum in California by UFC officials prior to Michael Bisping’s dramtic UFC title win at UFC 199 for breaking that Brock Lesnar was returning to the UFC, essentially spoiling their surprise.
Helwani who previously worked at FOX and still works for MMAFighting.com reported that Brock Lesnar would return for UFC 200. Around 3 hours after Helwani announced the news, the UFC aired a promo video for UFC 200 during UFC 199 confirming Helwani’s report.