Ariel Helwani: Dana White used to escort me out of UFC building before his arrival
Experienced MMA journalist Ariel Helwani has revealed that UFC President Dana White used to escort him out of the building every time before he reached the building prior to an event. Helwani has recently quit working with ESPN. He will go back to working with MMA Fighting, MMA Hour, BT Sport and disseminate news on his YouTube channel.
While speaking on Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz, the MMA journo said: “When I would be at events, Dan and everyone, and let’s say it’s the weigh-ins and there’s a desk there and I’m doing something beforehand, but Dana White is coming as a guest in 30 minutes or something, I would have to be escorted out of the venue because, per his request, I couldn’t be in his vicinity or his line of sight.”
“I would have to be escorted out of the venue because per his request, I couldn’t be in his vicinity or his line of sight” @arielhelwani on his relationship with @danawhite while working at ESPN.
💥 https://t.co/2MdaM3y5jA pic.twitter.com/DiopINilxG
— Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz (@LeBatardShow) July 12, 2021
Helwani and White have not seen eye to eye ever since the journalist blew UFC’s surprise about Brock Lensar before UFC 200. Helwani had reportedly betrayed White’s trust. The UFC President had let him know about Lesnar’s return and told him to keep it a secret, but the former ESPN rep revealed the news an hour before the UFC’s announcement.
Nonetheless, Helwani claims that White’s behavior has been severely hostile to him. As Helwani put it, the guards at the organization too felt bad whenever they had to ask him to exit the area.
“So here I am on the set of a company that I work for and security, the nicest people in the world who were embarrassed that they had to do this would tell me, ‘I’m sorry Ariel, we have to walk you out.’ Do you know how that makes someone feel? ‘We have to walk you out of the venue because Dana White doesn’t want you in his line of sight.’ I said, ‘I’ll sit right over there. I won’t even look at him. I’ll look at my phone. What are we doing here?’”