Ariel Helwani (MMA Journalist): Who Is He? Bio, Wiki, Age, Career, Wife, Interview and More

The ban of Ariel Helwani from UFC events serves as a cautionary tale for journalists covering MMA and other sports

It underscores the importance of ethical reporting and the need for transparency and open communication between journalists and sports organizations.

Ariel Helwani’s journey from Montreal to ESPN is a testament to his passion and dedication to sports journalism, particularly in the world of MMA.

His ability to overcome challenges and controversies while maintaining his integrity has solidified his position as a respected journalist in the industry.

As Ariel continues to make waves in the world of MMA journalism, his story serves as an inspiration to aspiring sports journalists worldwide.

Ariel Helwani
Ariel Helwani (Image: Source)

Ariel Helwani: Who Is He?

The Controversial Ban of an MMA Journalist

In the world of mixed martial arts (MMA), journalists play a crucial role in keeping fans informed about the latest news and developments in the sport.1

One such journalist, Ariel Helwani, found himself at the center of controversy when he was banned from attending UFC events.

The Ban

The controversy began when Helwani reported that Brock Lesnar would fight at UFC 200, a piece of news that the UFC was not ready to release at the time.

This scoop by Helwani, known for his insider knowledge and accurate reporting, caught the attention of MMA fans and the UFC alike.

The Fallout

The UFC’s reaction to Helwani’s report was swift and severe. They banned him from attending future events, citing breach of journalistic ethics and unauthorized reporting.

This move by the UFC was met with widespread criticism from fans, fellow journalists, and even some fighters, who viewed it as an attempt to control the narrative and suppress free journalism.

Repeal of the Ban

Despite the initial backlash, the UFC eventually reversed its decision and lifted the ban on Helwani.

This decision came after significant pressure from the MMA community, including fans, fighters, and other journalists, who voiced their support for Helwani and condemned the UFC’s actions.

The incident involving Ariel Helwani highlights the delicate balance between journalistic freedom and the interests of sports organizations.

While journalists have a duty to report the news accurately and responsibly, sports organizations also have the right to control the release of sensitive information.

Ariel Helwani
Ariel Helwani (Image: Source)

Ariel Helwani: Bio

The Journey of a Prominent MMA Journalist

Ariel Helwani, born on July 8, 1982, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, is a renowned sports journalist with a passion for Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).

Raised in a Jewish family, Ariel attended Akiva School and Herzilah High School, laying the foundation for his future endeavors. His mother is Lebanese, and his father hails from Egypt, giving him a rich cultural background.

Education and Early Career

Ariel’s journey into sports journalism began with his education at the SI, where he honed his skills and developed a deep understanding of the industry.

His breakthrough came when he joined, where his talent and dedication quickly propelled him to fame.

Ariel’s work on included hosting the popular interview show, MMA Hour, and the commentary segment, MMA Beat, on YouTube, showcasing his expertise and insight into the world of MMA.

Career Milestones and Controversies

Despite his success, Ariel faced challenges and controversies in his career. In June 2016, he, along with two colleagues, was banned for life from all UFC events and press briefings for reporting the return of Brock Lesnar to UFC 200 before the official announcement.

This ban, however, was short-lived and was revoked two days later, highlighting the complexities of sports journalism.

Move to ESPN and Current Endeavors

  • In June 2018, Ariel made a significant career move by joining ESPN, where he continues to cover MMA across various platforms.
  • His role at ESPN includes hosting a weekly MMA program and continuing his podcast, The Ariel Helwani Show.
  • Additionally, Ariel co-hosts a 30-minute show on ESPN+ titled Ariel and the Villain, alongside former UFC and current Bellator fighter Chael Sonnen.
  • Ariel’s partnership with Chael brings a unique perspective to their discussions, with Chael offering insights as an active fighter, while Ariel provides expert analysis and interviews.
  • Ariel’s belief that excellence in sports journalism transcends professional fighting has been a driving force in his career, allowing him to maintain a balanced and insightful approach to MMA coverage.
Ariel Helwani
Ariel Helwani (Image: Source)

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Ariel Helwani: Height and Weight

The MMA Journalist Extraordinaire

Ariel Helwani stands tall in the realm of fight journalism, both figuratively and literally, with a height of 5ft 11in (1.80m).2

His name is synonymous with excellence in MMA reporting, earning him a well-deserved reputation in the industry.

Awards and Recognition

Helwani’s expertise and dedication have not gone unnoticed. He has been awarded the prestigious MMA Journalist of the Year title an impressive seven times, consecutively from 2010 to 2016. Additionally, he was honored as the 2014 Journalist of the Year in the Awakening WMMA Awards.

In 2011, Helwani was named to the FIGHT! Power 20 magazine, solidifying his status as a key figure in the world of MMA journalism.

Leadership Role

Beyond his reporting prowess, Helwani also serves as the acting president of the MMA Journalists Association.

His leadership in this role underscores his commitment to advancing the field of MMA journalism and supporting fellow journalists.

Interviews with Legends

Helwani’s contributions extend beyond his accolades and leadership roles. During his tenure on the MMA Hour, he conducted interviews with some of the biggest names in the sport, including Michael Bisping, Frankie Edgar, and Rampage Jackson.

His insightful questions and engaging interviews have captivated audiences and shed light on the personalities and stories behind the fighters.

Innovative Journalism

What sets Helwani apart is his unique approach to sports journalism. He is lauded for his unconventional methods and willingness to ask the tough questions.

This fearless approach has not only garnered respect from his peers but has also elevated the standard of MMA reporting.

Ariel Helwani’s impact on the world of MMA journalism is undeniable. His commitment to excellence, innovative approach, and dedication to the sport have cemented his legacy as one of the most influential figures in fight journalism.

Ariel Helwani: Wife Jaclyn Stein

A glimpse into the personal life of the renowned MMA reporter reveals a heartwarming love story with his childhood sweetheart, Jaclyn Stein.

Their journey began in seventh grade back in 1994 and culminated in a beautiful union in 2008.

Jaclyn Stein: A Brief Biography

Originally hailing from Montreal, Quebec, Jaclyn Stein entered the world on March 28, 1982, to proud parents Anize and Barry Stein.

Her academic journey led her to Herzilah High School in Montreal, where she graduated in 1999. Subsequently, she pursued a degree in management at McGill University, which she completed in 2004.

A Passion for Giving Back

During her college years, Jaclyn’s compassionate nature led her to host her first cancer charity benefit.

This initiative stemmed from her deep-seated belief in the importance of student involvement in cancer awareness and research. Alongside her husband, she actively participated in local fundraisers and cancer awareness campaigns.

A Talented Jewelry Designer

Beyond her philanthropic endeavors, Jaclyn is a skilled jewelry designer and the CEO of Bijoux ANIZE. This design company, founded with her sister Joanna and mother Anize, showcases Jaclyn’s creative prowess.

Her background in jewelry design from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, coupled with her experience as an art teacher, sculptor, and painter, imbues her designs with a unique flair.

Her creations often draw inspiration from nature’s beauty, such as the ocean, dewdrops, and the moon.

Multilingual and Culturally Rich

In addition to her artistic talents, Jaclyn is fluent in French, English, and Hebrew. This linguistic versatility adds a layer of cultural richness to her life and work.

Ariel Helwani, together with his wife Jaclyn, shares a fulfilling family life in Brooklyn, New York, with their three children: two boys and a girl. This vibrant family dynamic underscores their commitment to each other and their shared values.

Ariel Helwani: Interview

Ariel Helwani shared his interview experience with Tom Aspinall in his studio for the first time.


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A post shared by Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani)


Who is Ariel Helwani?

Ariel Helwani is a well-known Canadian sports journalist and MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) reporter. He is best known for his work with ESPN, where he covers MMA events and hosts several shows, including “Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show.”

What is Ariel Helwani’s background in MMA journalism?

Ariel Helwani has been involved in MMA journalism for over a decade. He started his career in 2006, working for several MMA websites and eventually joining MMA Fighting in 2009. He gained recognition for his in-depth interviews with fighters and breaking news stories in the MMA world.

What are some of Ariel Helwani’s notable interviews?

Ariel Helwani has conducted many notable interviews with MMA fighters and personalities. Some of his most memorable interviews include conversations with Conor McGregor, Nate Diaz, Ronda Rousey, and Dana White. He is known for his ability to ask insightful questions and get candid responses from his guests.

How has Ariel Helwani impacted the world of MMA journalism?

Ariel Helwani has had a significant impact on the world of MMA journalism. He is credited with helping to elevate the sport’s profile and legitimacy in the mainstream media. His interviews and reporting have helped to humanize fighters and bring their stories to a wider audience.

Where can I find Ariel Helwani’s work?

Ariel Helwani’s work can be found on ESPN, where he hosts “Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show” and contributes to MMA coverage on the network. He also has a strong presence on social media, where he shares updates and engages with fans.

Also Read: Comparing Francis Ngannou and Conor McGregor: Insights from Robert Whittaker

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Kankana Biswas
Kankana Biswas

I'm a strategic journalism graduate with expertise on socio-political issues, business, and finance. I'm a self-made entrepreneur, and have contributed to various news/media outlets since 2015. I also received degree of journalism from the Delhi College of Arts and Commerce.

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