Ariel Helwani Bio: MMA Reporting, Controversies, UFC Ban & Family

Ariel Helwani is one of the most popular Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) journalists. He has been associated with Fox Sports and ESPN, covering Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) matches.

He gained popularity not only because of his good performance but also because of all the controversies he has been part of. In fact, Helwani has been associated with quite a lot of disputes.

Ariel-Helwani
Ariel Helwani.

As a sports journalist, your prime responsibility is to build a tie between the athletes and well-wishers. Helwani was pretty good at it.

Today, we will be talking about Ariel Helwani without excluding anything worth mentioning that has ever happened in his personal and professional life. Let’s get started!

Quick Facts:

Full nameAriel Helwani
BirthdateJuly 8, 1982
BirthplaceMontreal, Quebec, Canada
ReligionMezrahi Jewish
NationalityCanadian
HoroscopeCancer
Father’s nameClaude Helwani
Mother’s namePina Helwani
SiblingsNot Known
Age45 Years Old
Height5 feet 11.5 inches (181.61 cm)
Weight110 kg
Eye colorLight Brown
Hair ColorDark Brown
Marital StatusMarried
SpouseJaclyn Stein
ChildrenThree (Two sons and a daughter)
Daughter’s NameClaire Helwani
ProfessionMixed Martial Arts (MMA) journalist
Affiliation   Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN)
ShowsAriel Helwani’s MMA Show

Ariel & The Bad Guy

DC & Helwani

ESPN MMA Snap Show

NBA Sideline rookie

Former ShowsMMA Fighting

Fox Sports 1’s weekly UFC Tonight

Sirius XM radio show “Fight Club

The MMA Hour Podcast

MMA Beat show on YouTube

Awards and HonorsMMA Journalist of the Year for nice subsequent years (2010-2018)

Named Power 20 (by Fight! Magazine) in 2011

2014 Journalist of the Year

Net worthAround $8 million
Social Media HandlesFacebook, Instagram, Twitter
Last UpdateNovember, 2022

Where was Ariel Helwani born? Early Life, Family and Education

Ariel Helwani was born on July 8, 1982, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He was born to his parents Claude Helwani and Pina Helwani.

Claude Helwani owns a big textile company named Tricots-Liesse in Canada. His family is Mizrahi Jewish.

Mizrahi Jewish are people from the Middle East and North America who lived from biblical times into the modern era.

Helwani is mainly the descendant of the Mizrahi Jewish community from the Middle East. His mother is from Lebanon, and his father is from Egypt.

Helwani is not just connected to the fighting business through journalism. His maternal uncle, David Saad, is a popular Judoka from Lebanon.

Saad fought in the men’s lightweight event at the 1976 Summer Olympics. His other maternal uncle, Gad Saad, is a Lebanese-Canadian evolutionary psychologist.

He works at John Molson School of Business that applies evolutionary psychology to marketing and consumer behavior.

Growing up in a culturally diverse environment, Helwani can speak several languages. He is fluent in English, French, and Hebrew. Similarly, he understands Spanish and Arabic.

You might be interested in reading: <<Nadia Kassem Bio: Mixed Martial Arts, Family, career, & Wiki>>.

Education

Helwani precisely grew up in Mount Royal, Quebec, and Westmount, which is a Montreal suburb. He first went to Akiva School. He then studied at Herzliah High School.

ariel-helwani-father
A young Ariel Helwani with his father.

Helwani then joined Syracuse University’s SI. Newhouse School of Public Communications in Syracuse, New York. He graduated from the university in 2004.

How tall is Ariel Helwani | Age, Height, and Weight

Having been born on July 15, 1978, Ariel is 38 years at the moment. Also, his star sign happens to be Cancer.

And from what we know, the people of this sign are known for being brave, determined, passionate, and energetic.

Now, talking about his physique, Helwani stands at 5 feet 11.5 inches (181.61 cm) and weighs around 110 Kg (242 lbs).

Likewise, Ariel’s other notable body facts are his short dark brown hair and shining pair of light brown eyes. 

Ariel Helwani | Professional Career

Helwani has been in the MMA reporting business since 2006. He first worked for MMA Fighting.

He then joined ESPN in May 2018. Helwani has also worked in the position of “MMA Insider” for Fox Sports 1’s weekly UFC Tonight.

Similarly, he has been in the same position for another pre-and post-event programming as well. He has also worked as a co-host of the Sirius XM radio show “Fight Club.”

Likewise, he was the host of The MMA Hour podcast. He also hosted an MMA Beat show on YouTube.

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Helwani is also the interim vice president of the Mixed Martial Arts Journalists Association. The organization is deemed to be very controversial.

He also works as a host in a show called “Ariel & the Bad Guy” at ESPN. He partnered with Chael Sonnen as a co-host for the show.

Similarly, he has been continuing his podcast and reports on MMA for all ESPN platforms. He is indeed a very busy man in the MMA reporting business.

Don’t forget to check out: <<Montana De La Rosa: MMA, Career, Family & Net Worth>>

Why did UFC fire Ariel Helwani? UFC 199 controversy / UFC lifetime ban

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) threw Helwani and his two colleagues out of UFC 199 before the main event on June 4, 2016.

Moreover, the press credentials of the three of them were taken. The trio was banned for life from all UFC events.

Helwani has reported the revival of Brock Lesnar at UFC 20 earlier. He had reported it hours before UFC announced it on the broadcast. He did not even consider notifying UFC first.

UFC spokesman Dave Sholler came forward, saying such reporting was against standard practice. UFC Joe Rogan said that the company had asked Helwani not to report that news.

The management assumed that a mole had broken that news to him. They did not know the person responsible. Hence, they went for removing all possible moles from the company.

However, Helwani had a different story to tell. He refused to accept Rogan’s story and considered it 100% inaccurate.

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Got More Severe

Dana White, the current president of UFC, did not like the news. He said that the ban would not be dismissed as long as he serves at UFC.

White further added that he wouldn’t have issues with Helwani covering the event without any credentials.

Helwani then came forward with his side of the story. He explained the incident in an emotional broadcast on the June 6 episode of The MMA Hour.

He said that he was invited to see Dana White, who told him that he was banned for being too negative.

Helwani later discovered that Lorenzo Fertitta made the entire call. He then decided to report the news in a timely manner.

Moreover, he announced that he would continue to work as an MMA journalist. Life is all about ups and downs.

There are times when you fall into the trap, and there are also the times when you create the trap.

As long as you have the determination to continue the profession you love with pride, nothing should bother you. Helwani stood by this theory indeed.

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And Then

Helwani did not end up having an entirely negative image. Many high-profile UFC fighters sympathized with him. After all, nobody deserves cruelty, especially from their workplace. 

Light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones posted on Twitter saying that news of Helwani’s ban is unfortunate, sympathizing and empathizing for him.

 Helwani’s close friend Daniel Cormier also showed similar feelings.

Former Middleweight champion Chris Weidman wrote on Twitter, “This sport needs the GOAT of MMA reporting. GOAT is slang for Greatest of All Time.

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The UFC canceled the move on June 6. They stated that they would not prevent MMAFighting.com from receiving media credentials to cover live UFC events.

The UFC further added that they respect the role played by media in the sport and beyond. They also acknowledged the importance of reporting MMA Fighting’s ability.

But they also talked about the incident, calling it the recurring tactics used by the lead reporter extended beyond journalism’s purpose.

They concluded by saying that they feel confident about their adequately communicated position to the SB Nation editorial team.

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Mayweather vs. McGregor ban

Helwani has indeed been a very controversial figure.

Helwani came forward saying that they removed him from the Showtime broadcast team hours before the first press conference. It was in the Mayweather vs. McGregor press tour.

He went to Twitter and wrote that he wouldn’t be working for SHOsports anymore on the May/Mac tour.

He further said that UFC specifically asked to have him removed. Also, he expressed his disappointment.

ESPN

Helwani left MMA Fight reporting. He now works for ESPN.

ESPN is the UFC’s official broadcast partner. Helwani hosts a show named Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on Twitter and YouTube.

Similarly, he is a host for “Ariel and the Bad Guy” on ESPN +. He also hosts a Wednesday podcast.

Ariel Helwani
Ariel Helwani at Showtime PPV.

Further, he is a part of occasional ESPN broadcasts of the NBA. UFC and ESPN shared a working relationship for quite a while.

Hence, the objectivity of Helwani and other ESPN personalities like Brett Okamoto always stays at a risky place.

You can want to watch Helwani’s articles at Muck Rack and Sport Bible. Similarly, you can watch his radio podcast on the website of Radio Net.

Ariel Helwani | Honors and Awards

Helwani might be anything but not an incapable journalist. The man has been showing his potential and motivation to work for years now. He holds several awards and titles, which he absolutely deserves.

He was named MMA Journalist of the Year for nice subsequent years. Helwani earned the title at 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 World MMA Awards.

FIGHT! Magazine named Helwani as one of their “Power 20” in 2011. The list comprises the most significant power players, movers, shakers, ambassadors, and game-changers in MMA.

The magazine further described him as the Howard Cosell of MMA.

Similarly, he won the 2014 Journalist of the Year award in the Awakening WMMA Awards at the beginning of 2015.

He has won awards and hosted two separate Helwani Nose Awards events in Chicago and Las Vegas. The event has current and former MMA fighters participating in a UFC trivia show for the Nose World Order belt.

You can watch an overview of Helwani’s top 30 MMA interviews on Bleacher Report’s website.

Is Ariel Helwani Married? Wife and Children

Ariel Helwani is married to Jaclyn Stein. She is a creative director for several jewelry brands, one of which is ANZIE.

Helwani and Stein look ravishing together. They were childhood friends who later fell in love. They have three children, a daughter named Claire Helwani and two sons.

Ariel-Helwani's-family
Ariel Helwani with his wife, Jaclyn Stein, and children.

You might also want to read: <<Bethe Correia Bio: Age, Net Worth, Husband, UFC & MMA>>

What is Ariel Helwani’s net worth? Net Worth and Income

Ariel Helwani has had a successful career as a Journalist. He has a huge reputation and is considered one of the best experts in his line of work.

According to several sources, Ariel’s net worth is assumed to be $8 million. His fortune is the result of his credibility and demand as an MMA journalist. 

Besides this, Ariel has not revealed his exact profit and assets. But for now, the Journalist seems to be living a lavish and comfortable life with his family.

Social Media Presence:

Helwani is very active on his social media handles. You can follow him via these links:

Facebook account:108,255 followers

Instagram account: 1 million followers

Twitter account: 952.2K followers

Some FAQs:

What is the Ariel Helwani – Dana White issue?

Dana White, the current UFC president, did not like Helwanireporteing the revival of Brock Lesnar at UFC 20. Helwani had not notified the UFC about it earlier.

White further commented that Helwani was removed for being too negative.

Is Ariel Helwani a black belt?

Yes, Ariel Helwani is a black belt. Being in the MMA industry for such a long time, he must have developed an interest in the sport.

He gained the black belt in 2013. He announced the news via his social media accounts. Helwani wrote, “Just got my Metamoris “invitation. Holy moly, look at this thing. I’m finally a black belt.”

Why was Ariel Helwani fired from FOX?

Ariel Helwani mentioned in an interview that he was fired from FOX because UFC wanted him gone. He said,
“Fox dropped me because the UFC told it to. That’s a fact,”

What fighter freaked out on Ariel Helwani?

Jason “Mayhem” Miller, an American mixed martial arts fighter, freaked out on Ariel Helwani.

Did Ariel Helwani interview Roman Reigns?

Yes, Ariel Helwani interviewed Roman Reigns for BT Sport to talk about WWE SummerSlam.

Why does everyone hate Ariel Helwani?

Being active and famous in any field will bring a lot of attention, and there will be some people who will not like what you are doing.

According to sources, people hate Ariel Helwani because he often pushes too much on his questions or asks too personal stuff in his interviews.

Also, his complements and fighter introductions can seem a bit over the top, which leads people to think he is disingenuous. However, a lot of people like him too because of the same reason.

Did Ariel Helwani ever fight?

Ariel Helwani has been a part of MMA outside the octagon for a long time. But he has not been given a try to actually get into a fight. 

He holds a black belt as well. It would be interesting to watch him wrestle.

Why did Ariel Helwani slam Brendan Schaub?

Ariel Helwani slammed Brendan Schaub and Joe Rogan for spreading rumors regarding his UFC ban.

Who will replace Aljamain Sterling at UFC 267 according to Ariel Helwani?

According to Ariel Helwani, Cory Sandhagen will replace Aljamain Sterling at UFC 267.

What did Ariel Helwani say on Twitter about Hunter Campbell?

Ariel Helwani tweeted a post about Hunter Campbell saying,

Ariel helwani ss
Ariel Helwani speaking about Hunter Campbell.

 

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