Ariel Helwani Ariel Helwani

Host Brandon Contes interviews MMA reporter Ariel Helwani. Brandon and Ariel discuss a wide range of topics including discovering mixed martial arts and going to school to cover the sport, Dana White running the UFC, Joe Rogan as a UFC commentator, and more.

Here’s the full breakdown:

  • :45: Confidence level on the New York Knicks
  • 4:05: Why be a fan of the Knicks instead of the Bulls in the 90s?
  • 5:54: MMA fandom
  • 9:20: Famous classmates at Syracuse
  • 11:15: MMA as a stepping stone?
  • 12:55: MMA 20 years from now?
  • 15:05: Covering UFC for Fox and ESPN
  • 18:29: Benefits to working with a big company rather than being independent?
  • 20:32: Anticipating roadblocks at ESPN?
  • 22:32: Leaving ESPN
  • 24:24: Why is ESPN deal with UFC important?
  • 26:30: UFC recognizing the value ESPN is bringing
  • 27:36: Why did Ariel’s relationship with Dana White sour?
  • 32:53: Does Ariel miss going to events?
  • 34:58: How is Ariel perceived by UFC fans?
  • 37:35: Did ESPN attempt to foster a conversation between Ariel and Dana?
  • 39:45: Dana White, UFC, and the media
  • 41:54: Does Ariel think that White thinks Ariel is good or bad for MMA?
  • 44:19: Sean Strickland’s response to Alexander Lee’s question about Strickland’s previous anti-LGBTQ posts
  • 47:32: White’s “freedom of speech” mandate for the UFC
  • 50:20: ESPN’s lack of response to Strickland compared to network going after other athletes for controversial things they said
  • 55:10: What is Dana White’s best quality?
  • 57:30: Relationship with Joe Rogan
  • 1:00:46: Kids being fans of UFC
  • 1:02:14: Covering boxing in Saudi Arabia
  • 1:06:01: Biggest thing Ariel does to be a great interviewer

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About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @phillipbupp