First rule of fight club? Don’t talk about Greg Hardy!
Veteran mixed martial arts (MMA) journalist, Ariel Helwani, has been a thorn in the side of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President, Dana White, for several years, to the point where the former MMA Hour host was temporarily banned from all media events.
Perhaps now that Helwani is a reporter for ESPN, he and White could finally start reading from the same script. After all, the network sank a ton of money into the world’s preeminent combat sports promotion for a broadcast deal that begins this weekend in Brooklyn.
Helwani was openly critical of White and Co. for including Hardy on the same fight card as Rachael Ostovich. The former was charged with domestic violence while the latter was allegedly assaulted by her husband back in November. Both will be a part of UFC on ESPN+ 1 this weekend (Sat., Jan. 19, 2019) in Brooklyn, New York.
“I found this decision to be incredibly tone deaf, to put it mildly,” Helwani told First Take. “There are 43 cards scheduled for 2019. I didn’t understand why Greg Hardy had to be on A) the ESPN debut card and B) the same card as Rachael Ostovich. I think it’s important to note that ESPN didn’t have a say in any of this. UFC makes the cards, they have the final say in it all.”
As expected, those comments were not well received.
“I don’t give a shit what Ariel Helwani thinks,” White told TMZ. “Who the fuck is Ariel Helwani to question anything we do? I think we’ve done a pretty good job in 20 years, I could give a shit what he thinks, or anybody else for that matter.”
“If you’re that type of douchey ... whatever you want to call him, you can make something out of anything,” White continued. “He’s on the roster, she’s on the roster. They’re eventually gonna line up on a card sometime. If you’re that type of reporter, you’d have something to say about it.”
What about victims of domestic violence who have something to say about it?
It’s clear from the Jon Jones incident that cost ticketed fans a ton of money that UFC is going to do whatever it believes is in the best interest of the bottom line, regardless of what the fat morons have to say about it on social media.