53 Facts About Ariel Helwani


Ariel Jacob Helwani is a Canadian-American sports journalist, known for his coverage of mixed martial arts.


Ariel Helwani is best known for his work at MMA Fighting, but has worked for Fox and ESPN.


Ariel Helwani has won MMA Journalist of the Year at the World MMA Awards every year since 2010.


Ariel Helwani was born to Mizrahi Jewish parents in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, as the youngest of four siblings.


Ariel Helwani's father is of Syrian lineage but was born and raised in Alexandria, Egypt, and his mother is from Beirut, Lebanon.


Ariel Helwani's father moved to Lebanon in his late teens, before he and his family moved to Montreal in 1967, while his mother and her family moved to the same Canadian city in 1973 because "it was starting to get increasingly dangerous for Jews in Lebanon".


Ariel Helwani is fluent in English, French, and Hebrew, and understands Spanish and Arabic.


Ariel Helwani grew up in Mount Royal and Westmount, Quebec, and attended the Akiva School and Herzliah High School.


Ariel Helwani has stated that he wanted to be the "Howard Cosell of MMA".


Ariel Helwani stated that he starting building his network by messaging every fighter he could find on Myspace.


Ariel Helwani started working at MMA Fighting, after it was bought by AOL in 2009.


Ariel Helwani hosted the website's The MMA Beat show on YouTube and co-hosted the Sirius XM radio show Fight Club.


Ariel Helwani served as an "MMA Insider" for Fox Sports 1's weekly UFC Tonight show and other pre- and post-event programming from 2011.


Ariel Helwani then revealed that his position on UFC Tonight came under the condition that his paycheck had to come from the UFC's parent company, Zuffa.


Ariel Helwani said he was brought to see Dana White, who told him he was banned for being "too negative".


Ariel Helwani later learned this decision was made by then-UFC CEO and Zuffa founder Lorenzo Fertitta.


Ariel Helwani stood by his decision to report the news in a timely manner.


The UFC's actions were widely criticized by journalists, and several high profile UFC fighters sympathized with Ariel Helwani, including Jon Jones and Chris Weidman, the latter of which said, "This sport needs the GOAT of MMA reporting".


Ariel Helwani credited the reactions from the media and fans for forcing the UFC to lift the ban.


At formation, Ariel Helwani was a member of its board of directors.


Ariel Helwani notified MMA Fighting, but they never offered him a new contract.


Ariel Helwani joined ESPN in June 2018, shortly after the company announced their 5-year, $1.5 billion rights package with the UFC.


Ariel Helwani contributed to occasional ESPN broadcasts of the NBA.


In June 2021, Ariel Helwani announced his departure from ESPN after failing to reach terms on a new contract.


Ariel Helwani subsequently announced his return to MMA Fighting and as host and producer of The MMA Hour, with a new twice weekly schedule.


Ariel Helwani launched a Substack account for his written thoughts.


Ariel Helwani married Jaclyn Stein, CEO and designer at Anzie Jewelry, on October 25,2008.


Ariel Helwani was kosher from seventh grade until his mid-20s, when he found it too difficult to stick to while traveling for work, but said he still uses tefillin every day.


Ariel Helwani is a fan of the New York Knicks, Buffalo Bills, Toronto Blue Jays, Montreal Canadiens, Everton FC and Nottingham Forest.


Ariel Helwani is a fan of darts which is a popular sport in the United Kingdom.


Ariel Helwani has gotten praise from Eddie Hearn and Hearn believes that Ariel can be a catalyst for the growth and popularity of the sport in North America.


Ariel Helwani has a long-standing feud with Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White.


Elie Bleier of Tablet reported that while the two initially had a friendly relationship, it began to sour in the mid-2010s while Ariel Helwani worked at Fox Sports, who was the UFC's American TV broadcaster at the time.


On December 6,2022, UFC fighter Paddy Pimblett who had previously been a guest on Ariel Helwani's show The MMA Hour, hosted Dana White on his own podcast Chattin Pony with Paddy The Baddy.


Ariel Helwani claimed that Helwani asked Pimblett to drop paid opportunities in order to do an interview with him.


Ariel Helwani further claimed that he had 'never once in his life asked someone to come on the show for exposure'.


Ariel Helwani played a voice note from Pimblett revealing that it was in fact Pimblett who reached out to Helwani for an interview.


Ariel Helwani has a standing feud with mixed martial arts manager Ali Abdelaziz, president of Dominance MMA Management.


An allegation that Ariel Helwani denied, while confirming that he had not had access to interview Abdelaziz's fighters for over a year.


Ariel Helwani has expressed confusion at why those fighters allow someone who works for them, tell them what to do.


Ariel Helwani has an ongoing feud with All Elite Wrestling founder Tony Khan.


The feud began in October 2022 when Khan was interviewed on The Ariel Helwani Show, and refused to comment or answer questions on numerous questions pertinent to the status of AEW at the time, a fact that Helwani publicly stated made the interview the worst he'd ever conducted.


Ariel Helwani stated that he was not going to let Khan soil his name and reputation, and that he was not a wrestling journalist like Dave Meltzer.


Ariel Helwani further revealed that there were some bizarre and weird moments during the interview, but he would not discuss them.


The feud escalated when Ariel Helwani was invited by AEW competitor WWE to appear at Elimination Chamber, both held in his hometown of Montreal.


Ariel Helwani has an ongoing feud with UFC lightweight fighter Paddy Pimblett.


Ariel Helwani responded with evidence to disprove lies told by Pimblett, but the fighter continued to make the same accusations in subsequent interviews and during his post-fight interview at UFC 282.


Ariel Helwani played audio clips of Pimblett's remarks and insisted that he won't let "bullies" win.


Pimblett accused Ariel Helwani of requesting that he abandon a paid interview in order to feature on his show, but Ariel Helwani labeled that a complete lie, insisting that he's never asked anyone to cancel an interview for him.


Ariel Helwani suggested that Pimblett is trying to paint himself as the victim in the feud, even though Pimblett and White were the ones who began the exchange by insulting Ariel Helwani.


Ariel Helwani has won MMA Journalist of the Year at the World MMA Awards every year since 2010.


Ariel Helwani won 2014 Journalist of the Year at the Awakening WMMA Awards.


Ariel Helwani has hosted two separate Ariel Helwani Nose Awards events in Chicago and Las Vegas, where current and former MMA fighters participate in a UFC trivia show for the Nose World Order belt.