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Friday, August 23, 2019

MMA

Joe Rogan: UFC warned Ariel Helwani not to report Brock Lesnar news

Ariel Helwani MMA

The UFC apparently had such an extreme reaction to Ariel Helwani breaking the Brock Lesnar story on Saturday because they had already warned him against scooping them.

UFC commentator Joe Rogan who, keep in mind is EMPLOYED by the UFC, shared some insight on Tuesday of what led to the UFC’s reaction to the Lesnar story, which resulted in them banning Helwani and his crew (a move that was later reversed).

As we have heard, the UFC believed Ariel had a mole and wanted to find out who it was. They were upset he had broken news of the Conor McGregor-Nate Diaz rematch earlier on Saturday and talked to him about it.

“From what I understand, the conversation with him was ‘don’t do this, because only a handful of people know this information. So we’re going to fire a bunch of people, and you’re going to ruin peoples’ lives.’ This is what I was told was a conversation they had with him. After that conversation, he leaked the Brock Lesnar stuff,” Rogan said on his show.

Rogan also says that they know the information did not come from Brock’s side, leading them to conclude the leaks came from within their organization.

Rogan also thinks Helwani is wrong to scoop the UFC if the news is coming out anyway because he’s stealing their spotlight.

It’s truly unbelievable how wrong Rogan is about this, but his position is understandable because he is one of the most prominent faces of the UFC and paid by the organization. Helwani has no obligation to the UFC. OF COURSE he is trying to steal the spotlight; he’s trying to build his name and gain notoriety through reporting.

And why does it matter to report information before others? The world is all about information and learning things first. There are limitless examples of how having information first is beneficial to consumers and fans. Not only is it cool to brag to friends that you know things they don’t, but there are practical gains, such as buying tickets or hotel rooms before the masses catch on and prices go up. The argument that there is no reason for him to scoop news that is already coming out is flatly incorrect and shows no understanding of what a reporter does.

The UFC just wants to control all aspects of their business and they do not know how to operate when they lose control. They try to bully and intimidate others, as evidenced by their talk with Helwani in which they warned him against reporting news. That’s also evidenced by them saying they would fire employees. The UFC management just runs in unfair ways and this is a classic example of it.

Their “side” of the story isn’t much of a side.

UPDATE: Helwani told “Tiki and Tierney Show” on CBS Sports Radio that the story from Rogan is false.

“That is 1,000 percent inaccurate. No one at the UFC ever told me that jobs would be lost if I reported news. That’s kind of a ludicrous thing to say to anyone. And if I’m being honest, I’m a little disappointed that he put that out there without even talking to me. He got that from Dana White. He’s a close friend of Dana White’s, and Dana and some other people at the UFC believe there’s a mole at the company feeding me information. That is also 1,000 percent inaccurate. There is no mole. There is no singular person that I planted within the company to give me news. Also a ludicrous idea”

Also see:
Dana White told banned reporter Ariel Helwani ‘you’re too negative’

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Kimbo Slice was recently told he needed a heart transplant

Kimbo Slice

A few days prior to his tragic death on Monday night, Kimbo Slice was admitted to a hospital with multiple problems, and he was told he needed a heart transplant.

The South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Tuesday evening that Kimbo, real name Kevin Ferguson, was taken to a hospital in South Florida last Friday with abdominal pain, shortness of breath and nausea. He was found to have a liver mass and heart failure, and he was placed on a ventilator in intensive care. Kimbo Slice was told that he would need a heart transplant.

Slice died on Monday after being taken to the hospital. Doctors actually were preparing to transfer him to Cleveland, where he would be able to wait for a heart transplant.

Slice was 42 and leaves behind a wife and six children. He was 7-0 in his professional boxing career and 5-2 in his pro MMA career. He beat Dada 5000 at Bellator 149 in Houston in February, though he later tested positive for steroids, leading the fight to be ruled a no contest.

Once a bouncer and bodyguard, Kimbo became famous after his backyard brawls went viral on YouTube. We examined his unique legacy in this piece.

Ariel Helwani alludes to alleged assault by UFC security

Ariel Helwani MMA

Ariel Helwani poured out his heart and shared a lot of personal information during Monday’s edition of “The MMA Hour” — his weekly show. At one point he even referenced an event that got “physical” in 2014.

Though Helwani declined to go into specifics about the incident, MMA insider Front Row Brian elaborated on Twitter. He said the allusion by Helwani was to an actual assault on the reporter by a UFC security guard who allegedly was one of Dana White’s bodyguards.

Here’s what Helwani said about the matter:

“Around that time frame, something else happened. That’s the one thing I’m going to skip over for now. That’s the one thing I don’t want to get into. I just don’t feel comfortable. I will say this though — it got physical. And that was hard,” said Helwani, vaguely alluding to some sort of incident.

Here’s what Front Row Brian says happened.

Yes, that is a pretty serious accusation. Reporters getting assaulted by security for asking questions? There has to be something more to this story.

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Kimbo Slice – greatest YouTube street fights that made him a viral star

Kimbo Slice became a famous name in sports in one of the most unpredictable, yet totally fitting ways for the 21st century: He was one of the original viral YouTube stars.

A former high school football player who played at Miami and even tried out with the Dolphins, Kimbo Slice, real name Kevin Ferguson, became a bouncer at a strip club and later a bodyguard in South Florida. While working for the adult entertainment company “Reality Kings,” he started doing backyard brawls in 2003. But it wasn’t until YouTube was invented in Feb. 2005 that Kimbo truly blew up. His fights were uploaded to YouTube and helped make him famous.

Kimbo went from backyard brawls in 2003 to fighting for a legit promotion company (EliteXC) in 2007, and on national TV on CBS in 2008.

For those unfamiliar with his path to fame, or for those who want to relive his greatness, check out a bunch of his fights on YouTube.

UFC relents on credentials, complains about Ariel Helwani’s ‘tactics’ in troubling statement

Ariel Helwani

The UFC on Monday night relented on its rash decision to revoke the credentials of three members of the website MMAFighting.com and said in a statement the site would be approved for credentials.

However, in their statement on the matter, the UFC shared some extremely troubling wording and thinking that still should have many concerned about their controlling tactics.

Here is the statement they issued:

Following a conversation with the editorial team at SB Nation, UFC will not prevent MMAFighting.com from receiving media credentials to cover live UFC events. We respect the role the media plays in our sport and beyond, including MMAFighting’s ability to report news. However, in our opinion, we believe the recurring tactics used by its lead reporter extended beyond the purpose of journalism. We feel confident our position has now been adequately communicated to the SB Nation editorial team.

UFC’s goal as the world’s leading mixed martial arts promotion is to cultivate interest in its world-class athletes and events, and deliver for the fans. We will continue to introduce this sport and its athletes to new fans across the world, and we will do so by working alongside media across all platforms.

The UFC made the statement to essentially announce they were wrong in taking such extreme measures. Yet in their statement they complain about the lead reporter (Ariel Helwani) and his “tactics.”

What this comes down to is the UFC is upset Helwani keeps breaking major fight news before the company wants it public and not in the matter they want it disseminated. On Saturday alone, Helwani beat the UFC to its announcements about Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz’s rematch for UFC 202, and more importantly, about Brock Lesnar’s return to the UFC.

The UFC has likely arranged deals with ESPN and other outlets about providing them with exclusive news and scoops, so they are angered when reporters spoil it. But that is just part of what happens when you run a major sports league that is covered by the media; some will get scoops and spoil news announcements as Helwani has done. He doesn’t need the UFC’s permission to report news if he has it; he is wholly within his right as a report to report it. The UFC needs to adjust to that reality, but they are unwilling to because they are used to controlling the message and bullying/intimidating reporters.

Since Helwani and two other members of MMA Fighting’s team were kicked out of the UFC 199 event in Inglewood prior to the main event, it has become publicized that the UFC has long banned different reporters or outlets. One such reporter is Josh Gross, who was formerly of Sherdog and then worked for ESPN. He shared some information on what led to his ban by the UFC.

With this incident being so high-profile since it involved Helwani, the public pressure forced the UFC to cave and change its behavior. Hopefully there will continue to be more pressure applied to them so they act in more reasonable manners in the future.

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Kimbo Slice dead at 42 – reportedly of heart attack

Kimbo Slice

Some awful news to report as Kimbo Slice died on Monday night, shortly after being taken to the hospital in Florida. One specific report says Kimbo died of a heart attack.

Kimbo’s gym, American Top Team, wrote an RIP message for the fighter:

Kimbo Slice, real name Kevin Ferguson, was 5-2 in his pro MMA career and recently headlined a fight with Dada 5000 at Bellator 149. Dada 5000 had serious health problems during and after that fight. His heart reportedly stopped at one point and he was later revived. Now four months later, it’s Kimbo who has died.

LBS examines his unique legacy in this video:

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CM Punk fight vs Mickey Gall targeted for UFC 202

CM Punk UFC

Here’s something else the UFC can start banning reporters over: CM Punk and Mickey Gall’s fight date reportedly is targeted for UFC 202.

There has been speculation that Punk would finally make his UFC debut at some point during the summer, and the word is the date should be UFC 202 in August:

The UFC also announced that Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz will fight each other in a rematch on that UFC 202 card.

Punk’s MMA debut has long been awaited. He signed with the UFC in Dec. 2014 after leaving the WWE, but has yet to make his debut a year and a half later. He first injured his shoulder, and then he had back surgery.

Dave Meltzer has also reported that FS1 supposedly has a documentary on Punk’s MMA debut set to air this summer, another indication that CM Punk may be fighting soon.

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