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”