Ariel Helwani responds to Dana White’s “total bulls**t” claims about UFC Saudi Arabia postponement

By Zain Bando - January 23, 2024

Longtime MMA journalist Ariel Helwani continues to defend himself against UFC CEO Dana White. Most recently, Helwani reported that the UFC’s plans to host an event in Saudi Arabia on March 2 were pushed back to June due to the country’s dissatisfaction with the event.

Ariel Helwani, Dana White

At the UFC 297 post-fight press conference, White was asked about the report without the mention of Helwani’s name.

White dismissed those claims from Helwani, calling it “total bulls**t” and taking the blame for himself, explaining that he decided to move the card back due to a few fighters not being ready to compete.

Ariel Helwani responded to White’s comments Monday, saying White worded it the way he did to make himself feel better and not unveil the reality of the situation.

Ariel Helwani claps back at Dana White

“I reported it,” Ariel Helwani said. “I got the fact that it wasn’t happening on March 2 anymore. No one else had that at the time. I got the fact that it was happening most likely in June. It was being pushed to June, but you’re telling me the reason for those two things happening was incorrect. So I got two right and three wrong? How is that possible? How do you get two-thirds of it right and not the actual last point, as far as the reason is concerned?”

Helwani said the UFC has never been in a situation like this before and that it will be interesting to see how the card is salvaged.

“Saudi Arabia is the only one out there that can do this sort of thing because they’re paying about $20 million, as it has been reported, to have these cards in Saudi Arabia. So, given that investment, they want, you know, a certain level of card.”

Saudi Arabia is one of the few international destinations the UFC has planned for 2024, as its Q1 schedule has the fights remaining stateside for now.


Ariel Helwani Dana White UFC