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Ariel Helwani’s lifetime UFC ban lasted less than 48 hours

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Just hours after baring his soul on the 333rd episode of his weekly show on MMAFighting.com, it was announced that 6-time World MMA Awards journalist of the year winner Ariel Helwani’s “lifetime” UFC ban has been lifted. Here’s the statement that the UFC released to the public:

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.

Helwani’s response to the situation that took place on Saturday night before the main event of UFC 199 was both heartfelt and respectable. His words yesterday afternoon on The MMA Hour were just as refreshing as the actions that fellow media members inside and outside of the MMA bubble took to defend one of their own. We all know that these days, the UFC brass would crawl over 70 good reporters without batting an eye just to get one 5-second clip on TMZ – it’s just the way the game works. Unfortunately for them, they realized that their most recent temper tantrum was giving more attention to Helwani than anything they announced on Saturday night. Fortunately for both parties, it’s now water under the bridge ahead of the biggest show in UFC history – for the time being.

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