Ariel Helwani Sends Brendan Schaub Final Warning After ‘Fake Apology’

MMA reporter Ariel Helwani has issued a final warning to Brendan Schaub and his associates, again insisting that they leave his name out of their mouths.

In last week’s installment of The MMA Hour, Ariel Helwani spoke at length about the gripes he has with Joe Rogan and former UFC heavyweight Brendan Schaub.  Helwani accused Rogan and Schaub of spreading misinformation about his temporary UFC ban in 2016 and then singled Schaub out for claims made that Helwani was a nightmare to work with at ESPN.

Helwani claimed that Schaub sent him a text apologizing for spreading this rumor, but he rejected the apology until Schaub could issue it publicly. As Helwani put it, since Schaub spread the rumor publicly, he should then apologize in the same manner and on the same platform.

Brendan Schaub Addresses Apology To Ariel Helwani

Brendan Schaub
Image Credit: Desiree Navarro/WireImage via Getty Images

On Tuesday’s installment of The Fighter & The Kid podcast, Schaub and co-host Bryan Callen addressed the Helwani situation at length. After Callen broached the subject, Schaub immediately admitted that he made a mistake, though he was vague on what exactly the mistake was.

“I was with you guys. I went, ‘Ah, I fucked up,” Schaub told Callen and guest Shapel Lacy. “When I saw [Callen] on Monday, I go, ‘Ah, I made a mistake.’ And with the whole Ariel stuff, it’s like a drone strike. You’re aiming for a target, there’s gonna be some casualties. Ariel isn’t my focus. We’re not even in the same lane.”

Schaub acknowledged that he sent Helwani an apology, but the apology seemed to be regarding a joke made during a comedy routine, where he likened journalists like Helwani to weathermen. Schaub did not elaborate on what was the meaning behind this metaphor, but both he and Callen agreed on one thing: Helwani’s sensitivity.

Schaub and Callen were complimentary to Helwani as a journalist, but Callen repeatedly characterized Helwani as being “sensitive,” which is a trait that can turn any situation from a molehill into a mountain. After they agreed that Schaub should be more careful not to ruffle Helwani’s sensitive feathers, Schaub wrapped up by sharing how his text exchange with Helwani concluded.

“He shouldn’t be in my scope anyway,” Schaub said. “He’s a byproduct of all this. And I apologized for it. I texted him, apologized for it. He wrote me this novel. There’s obviously some underlying (things) that he has issues with…if you’re a sensitive guy, that’s what it is…

“My thing is, the world’s negative enough. That’s why I texted Ariel. I went, ‘Dude, our jobs are tough enough. We don’t need to start a war, do any of that shit, man. You focus on what you do; I focus on what I do. That’s it, dude.”

Narrator: That Wasn’t It

Ariel Helwani viewed the clip of Schaub and Callen discussing him, and suffice it to say, he was unsatisfied with the apology. This is in large part because he didn’t understand what most of it was even referring to. Helwani also made sure to fire back on the notion that he is sensitive, a claim he believes to be unsubstantiated.

“Of course I knew he wasn’t gonna come back and be as sincere as he was in this text on camera. He can’t do that,” Helwani began on Wednesday’s installment of The MMA Hour. “And the funniest thing about this whole thing is I’m watching this segment. He doesn’t even bring it up. His boy Bryan brings it up, who continued to say, ‘Ariel’s so sensitive, Ariel’s so sensitive, Ariel’s so sensitive, Ariel’s so sensitive.’ Newsflash for Bryan, who I’ve never met before other than the time he’s been on this podcast: What makes you think I’m so sensitive? Is it because I’m annoyed that for the past five, six years, you guys keep saying these lies about me and I’ve never even responded once? 

ESPN, Ariel Helwani locked in industry-defining contract staredown

“…I’m a byproduct? I don’t know what the F you’re talking about. But I know you like to talk about me a lot. You like to talk about my career, my comings and goings behind the scenes: who likes me, who doesn’t like me; who wants to work with me, who doesn’t want to work with me. It’s a weird thing to say you don’t care, different lanes, but yet you’re always talking about me. That’s strange. And yet, I never talk about you. So who’s the sensitive one? Who’s the one that’s actually bothered by all this? It’s not jealousy, right? That can’t be. We’re ‘in different lanes…’

“Fake, phonies, two-faced. That’s who you guys are. That’s exactly who you guys are.”

Helwani also did not understand the “weathermen” reference, with the former ESPN reporter claiming to be unaware of what joke Schaub was even talking about. The biggest reason Helwani did not consider the apology genuine, though, is because it made no mention of what Helwani was initially upset about: the rumor that multiple people said he was difficult to work with.

In the end, Helwani is not waiting around for a second, enhanced apology. In fact, he doesn’t want to ever hear Schaub or his associates talk about him again; and this is the last time he intends to make this request.

“I mean, one pathetic segment that was. Sitting back there and listening to that, like, really? This is what we waited a week for? You could’ve sent out a tweet and saved us a hell of a lot of time. Just do me a favor. Leave my name out of your mouth. Leave my family’s name out of your mouth. Don’t talk about them. Don’t throw your minions under the bus when they talk about them. Just, let’s go our separate ways now, all right?

“I have never had a negative thing to say about you, your show, your experiences, all that. I’ve never said a thing when everyone piled on about your comedy and all that stuff. Never said a thing. And now you want to talk about my career? And then, when you get called out, say, ‘Oh, he was just a byproduct!’ Get out of here with that nonsense. Stop talking about me. Last warning. Done.” 

Do you think Ariel Helwani is being sensitive? Or is he right to defend himself in this manner?

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