Ariel Helwani went off on UFC President Dana White and Paddy Pimblett after the pair had nothing, but vile things to say about the highly-respected MMA journalist.
It’s been public knowledge for some time that Dana White is not a fan of Ariel Helwani. Their fairly one-sided rivalry goes back to 2016 when Helwani had broken the news that Brock Lesnar would be making his return to the Octagon at UFC 200. Upset that his big surprise was ruined, Dana White immediately banned Helwani from all UFC events as a member of the media. Since then, the two have occasionally taken potshots at one another, but on Wednesday’s episode of ‘The MMA Hour‘ Helwani unloaded on both White and Pimblett who had torn into him during the latter’s Chattin’ Pony podcast.
“When I was in New York for the MSG card last year, he wanted me to do an interview with him and I had a paid interview that day,” explained Pimblett while talking with Dana White. “He wanted me to let go of that paid interview to do an interview with him for BT Sport. What he’s getting paid for and he said, ‘Oh, no, that’s my journalist integrity.’
“You’re not a journalist no more. You’re a content creator. You’re not a journalist. Stop lying You’re very biased in what you do and what you say and he went on his MMA Hour and talked about me and my manager and I ended up messaging him. The first line was, ‘You’re a cheeky c*nt’ and he didn’t like it, but that was just me being honest.”
Paddy Pimblett’s argument was that he should get paid to take an interview with Helwani who he describes as a “content creator” rather than as a journalist.
Ariel Helwani Unleashes His Wrath on Paddy Pimblett
Ariel Helwani pulled no punches in his response to what Paddy Pimblett and the UFC President said about him just days prior. Discussing the topic, Helwani reveals that he was unaware of the hatred spewed towards him by ‘The Baddy’ until a friend brought it to his attention via text. Responding to the claims, Helwani said:
“You want me to pay for interviews? That’s not journalism and we may have a difference of opinion on what I do as opposed to what you think I do. I ain’t paying for shit. That’s not how this works. You don’t pay for coverage. That’s not how this works. Does Joe Rogan pay his guests? Did Oprah pay her guests? Did Larry King pay his guests? No. That’s not how this works.
“Now if you’re upset about the fact that you come on my show and I’m getting paid to do the show, well then I could in turn say the same thing. I’m upset that I have to go to your fights and you get paid more than me when you fight. It’s stupid. I would never say that because that’s ridiculous.”
Helwani Busts Out the Receipts on Paddy Pimblett
Addressing Paddy Pimblett’s claim that Helwani asked him to back out of a paid interview last year to interview with him, Ariel Helwani busted out his phone and played a voice note that Pimblett had left for Helwani, specifically letting the ‘MMA Hour’ host know that he would be in New York City in November 2021 and available if they wanted to get together.
“Just thought I’d let you know that if you wanted to say hi or do anything with the man, I’ll be in NYC in November,” said Pimblett in a voice note played by Helwani.” Gonna be there the 5th through the 6th. I’ll be coming back again on the 17th or the 18th and coming back to Liverpool on the 23rd so I’m about in New York on two separate occasions if you want to see your mate.”
According to Helwani, as the date grew closer, he once again reached out to Paddy Pimblett who in turn directed him to his longtime manager Graham Boylan. Helwani was informed that Pimblett had a series of paid appearances and indicated that the only way he would work with Helwani at that time is if Paddy Pimblett was to be paid for his time which is something Helwani is strongly against doing as a journalist.
The day after his text exchange with Boylan, Helwani appeared on the Pat McAfee Show and asked the host nonchalantly if anyone had ever asked to be paid while appearing on his show, clearly references his interaction with Paddy Pimblet and Graham Boylan, but never one mentioned either of them by name. At the same time, Boylan took to Instagram, sending out a message telling professional fighters that they need to start getting paid for their appearances on shows like the one Helwani hosts.
The day after his appearance on the Pat McAfee Show, Helwani revealed a series of hateful messages he received from Paddy Pimblett that he chose to read out loud.
Things Between Ariel Helwani and Paddy Pimblett Explode
“Lad, you’re a cheeky c*nt chatting shit about me like I asked you for money,” said Pimblett in a message sent to Helwani. “Don’t even ask me for an interview again you piece of shit. Showed me your true colors.”
“Got people chatting about me on Twitter cause of something you said,” messaged Pimblett. “Making me out to be some c*nt.”
Helwani fired back, suggesting ‘The Baddy’ go and listen to the interview he referenced before going on the attack. It was then that Pimblett revealed he had never actually listened to the interview that he was attacking Helwani for.
“I’ll be honest, I haven’t listed,” Pimblett admitted in the message. “I’ve just been tagged in plenty of tweets with people calling me this and that like I asked for money. People was mentioning it to me at the weigh-ins.”
Helwani once again reiterated that he never said Paddy Pimblett’s name in his interview with Pat McAfee, but when Graham Boylan made his comment on Instagram, the MMA community put two-and-two together through no fault of Helwani.
Ariel Helwani spent more than an hour detailing the situation and responding to the comments of what Paddy Pimblet and Dana White said. Fortunately, the entirety of that segment on ‘The MMA Hour’ occurs at the very beginning of the broadcast which is embedded below for your convenience.