LBS- Helwani broke news of the Conor McGregor-Nate Diaz rematch being set, and more importantly, he reported that Brock Lesnar was close to a return to the UFC — an absolute bombshell of a story. UFC boss Dana White was ticked off about Helwani’s reporting and let the veteran reporter have it.
“I was brought to the back by UFC [public relations] and told by Dana White that I had to leave the arena,” Helwani told Yahoo Sports. “Dana mentioned that from what I recalled that Brock Lesnar was upset the news was released early and that this could have ruined their deal.
“He repeatedly said, ‘Go cover Bellator. We don’t want you here.’ … I said, ‘What did I do wrong?’ He said, ‘You’re too negative.’”
Helwani also told Yahoo that he had at least two sources on both stories. He says the UFC suspects he has a “mole” inside the company feeding him information, which has them angered.
Finally. It's about damn time that someone would put their foot down when it comes to the circulation of increasingly pessimistic views in modern media. I can't say that I foresaw it being the CEO of a company whose success is predicated upon hand-to-hand combat and the facilitation of violence but hey - beggars can't choosers. With the current landscape of "hot takes" and the never ending pursuit of the negative it takes an extremely strong willed person to take the necessary steps to properly filter out the unfavorable. It wasn't petty at all for Dana White to have a reporter removed for reporting. In fact, it was pretty clearly mandatory if he wanted to protect the wholesome qualities of his product that he prides himself on.
As the old saying goes, "no publicity is better than bad publicity". If we learned anything from Conor McGregor's dispute with the UFC it's that controversy inherently turns people off to your brand. That's why no one is even talking about him potentially fighting Floyd Mayweather. It's just a far too contentious situation for the general public to invest themselves in. Dana White basically had no choice but to ban his most prestigious media member. After all, he jeopardized the popularity of the UFC by releasing the news of a highly anticipated matchup minutes before it was supposed to be announced. Might seem like a pretty small misstep, but there's nothing that the fans - who pay hard earned money to order PPV events - hate more than getting information in a time efficient manner. Thanks a lot Ariel Helwani. Not only did you totally compromise a deal between Brock Lesnar and Dana White, but you ruined the surprise in the process...ya big jerk.