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Ariel Helwani – The MMA Gossip King – But what’s his story?

If you follow the world of MMA then you will undoubtedly have heard of a man called Ariel Helwani – no you won’t know him for his accolades in any martial arts and certainly not any MMA fights inside a cage.

However, he is one of the most well known media members/MMA Journalists in the industry and with regards to that he certainly has many accolades for his breaking news abilities.

On the 8th July 1982 Mr Helwani was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He grew up in a Jewish family with his mother being from Lebanon and his father being from Egypt, interestingly he is also the nephew of famous evolutionary Scientist Gad Saad.

I would say that Mr Helwani is the MMA Gossip king and here’s a video of Mr Helwani doing what he does best on the MMABeat today –

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The Gossip King

Mr Helwani has been covering MMA since arund 2006 as a profession, he currently works for MMAFighting.com, but prior t that he worked on Fox Sports 1’s UFC Tonight Show, as well as being the former co-host of SiriusXM Radio show.

Hes the current host of one of the biggest MMA podcast in the industry the MMA Hour as well as being on the MMA Beat on Youtube and also he is the interim vice president of the Mixed Martial arts Journalists Association.

But how is he viewed now by most people in the world of MMA? Well a famous catchphrase saying has already emerged about Ariel Helwani’s activities in the industry which is “Helwani Nose” alluding to not only his Jewish roots but also his ability to know whats happening in the industry before anyone else.

Based on this I feel that he is the “gossip king” in the world f MMA, his job is literally to discuss who’s fighting who, who wants to fight who, grudges between opponents, the direction of MMA, The UFC and everything in between.

I mean his gossiping even got him in trouble in the past when was banned from UFC events by UFC  owner Dana White for leaking a story early about Brock Lesnar fighting in the UFC, they have since smoothed things over, but at the time it all effected Mr Helwani so much that he was seen being very emotional on the MMA Hour about the situation, especially from 01:43 onwards –

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How do fighters feel about him?

Well im sure some fighters absolutely love Ariel Helwani, some are indifferent and some just clearly don’t like the guy – but across the board I feel that most fighters feel that Ariel Helwani is a necessary evil, kind of like how getting Ali Abdelazziz as your manager is a necessary evil for majority of fighters from Dagestan, Russia if they want to get in the UFC.

Ultimately every fighter knows that if you want to massively increase your exposure and following in the world of MMA, the you HAVE to get used to doing interviews with Ariel Helwani.

The fighters who like Ariel Helwani will say that he is good for the fighters, generally good for the growth of the sport which I agree with and may even call Ariel their friend.

The fighters who are indifferent to Mr Helwani will say they are they are not friends wit him, but they don’t hate him and know they have to interact with him to get their name out there more.

The fighters who don’t like Ariel will say that he is an instigator, that he talks shit when hes never fought, that he doesn’t care about the fighters and that he tries to manipulate answers out of fighters, as well as directly at times trying to flare up beef between certain fighters, look at this interview where Khabib has an argument with Ariel –

Have to say I agree with those concepts, maybe he does care about some fighters, but many he does not and ultimately Ariel is an instigator but at the same time is definitely a necessary evil for fighters who does assist with the growth of a fighters name and the sport in general.

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Helwani Nose

Bottom line no matter how you feel about Ariel Helwani, he definitely knows things about certain fighters, upcoming fights and general MMA Gossip before anyone else does.

Frustratingly for some fighters Ariel at times finds out about a change to a fighters fight even before one of the fighters themselves do.

Personally I have respect for his accolades in MMA Media, but I would respect him more if he actually did some form of training and martial arts because then he would automatically be closer with all fighters.

That’s why personally I prefer guys like Joe Rogan as hosts of huge MMA based podcasts/shows, because honestly there are times where Ariel literally cannot affiliate with what a fighters psychology, techniques and physical difficulties can be faced in training and the fight itself.

Whereas someone like Joe Rogan who is a legitimate Taekowndo Black Belt and decent Jiu-Jitsu player, you see so many times where Joe Rogan can understand what a fighter goes through better then most.

Nowadays there is an increase in fighter/journalists/podcast hosts being former or current pro fighters. Look at people like: Chael Sonnen, Brendan Schaub, Bas Rutten, Michael Bisping and many others who have their own successful podcasts – hopefully we will see more fighters entering the journalist/podcast space.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post so if you did then leave a comment below, don’t forget to like share and subscribe if you want to see more MMA content – as always stay tuned for more from the world of MMA right here at the MMAGateway.

Thanks for sopping by!

Marley Dawkins

4 Comments

  1. A good and clear story about Ariel Helwani. I had never seen him before looking at the interview with Khabib, which seemed to me very one sided, Ariel asking some questions but not getting any answers, only accusations. The guy obviously did not want to hear what Ariel was saying! Ariel looked very reasonable to me, but was wasting his time. I like your suggestion though that Ariel should start some form a martial arts training, so that he could come closer to some of the fighters.

    • Hey Jerry, yeah definitely Khabib was definitely not in the mood to speak to Ariel in this interview as he felt offended by Ariel, which he is known to do sometimes, and offending fighters is a tricky business – lad you can see he should learn martial arts to get closer to the fighters 🙂

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      Hope your having a good day!

  2. Helwani is an instigator and is going piss someone off enough for a beatdown one day. The guy has no formal training in any of the martial arts. Like you said, he has no idea of the limits fighters push themselves to, psychologically and physically. I would have a little more trust in what he has to say if he has been there in those shoes.
    I used to train in Jiu Jitsu and know what it takes to train. I think this guy needs to get in the octagon for a minute, he might have a better appreciation for what these guys do. They might even respect him a little more, just a little.

    • Hey Tom yeah I agree bro, but Ariel is literally paid to instigate things between fighters and already he has had some rough treatment from some fighters, but yeah I agree if hes not careful he might get a serious beatdown on TV sometime – either way he needs to do some training because as people like you and me know you get a much closer connection to professional fighters when you have fought yourself before.

      Cool to hear you have trained Jiu-Jitsu before, I have a lot as well, you should check out MY FAVOURITE Rashguard for no gi grappling.

      Speak soon!

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