Renowned MMA journalist Ariel Helwani recently looked back on his “beef” with Donald Cerrone, suggesting it has certainly been squashed on his side.
Throughout his rise from budding journalist to one of the most well-known names in the world of MMA media, Helwani has clashed with a host of individuals. From recent interactions with Brendan Schaub and Dillon Danis to a feud with UFC President Dana White, one which led to him being stripped of his UFC press credentials, the Canadian has had a prominent presence in the sport, even beyond his coverage of it.
One other name Helwani has got on the wrong side of is veteran “Cowboy” Cerrone. The incident that sparked animosity occurred at the start of 2019, almost a year prior to the welterweight’s main event clash with Conor McGregor.
At the time, the fight was only rumored. But while the Colorado native had made his desire to face the Irishman known, Helwani wanted to see more fire in his eyes and more of the “old Cowboy.”
During an interview with Chael Sonnen, Cerrone took exception to Helwani’s comments. In a profanity-ridden rant, “Cowboy” unloaded on the reporter, threatening to “fuck him up.”
“You know what else I wanna tell you? When you fucking run into Ariel again, you can just backhand that little bitch for me. If he ever talks about me again, I’m gonna fuck him up, for real… I just saw the little piece that somebody sent me with him talking… motherfucker if you wanna see fire in my eyes bitch, I’ll fucking show you next time I see you… Who the fuck are you behind your microphone motherfucker. Get in there and do something with your life… Next time Ariel wants to have me as a guest, fuck you pussy, you’re dead to me.”
Helwani: “In My Mind, It’s Squashed”
Now three years on from the incident, Helwani has addressed where his relationship with Cerrone currently sits. During a recent episode of The MMA Hour, the Canadian reporter was asked whether the beef has been squashed. In response, Helwani gave a run-down of how his comments about “Cowboy” had been misinterpreted.
“Does he have beef with me still? Maybe, but I haven’t reached out to him. Do I have beef with him? No. Cowboy got mad at me because I said something before, I think it was the Conor fight, no, he was trying to get the Conor fight, and I was saying like, ‘Where’s the old Cowboy? We need the old Cowboy.’ I was basically trying to do the promo that Vince McMahon gave Stone Cold Steve Austin during the invasion in 2001, where he’s like, ‘We need the old Stone Cold! We need the old…’ And I was trying to do that. He looked at it the wrong way and got really mad and said some things.”
Helwani added that while he certainly has no animosity towards the UFC legend and believes the beef has been squashed on his side, he doesn’t know if the same can be said for Cerrone.
“I saw him in Chicago. I went up to him and he didn’t wanna talk to me, so, no beef here. Does he have beef? I don’t know. In my mind, it’s squashed. Life’s too short for this nonsense. Come on.”
In the months after Cerrone and Helwani’s feud, a fight between the American and McGregor was announced, and the pair headlined UFC 246 in January 2020. While Helwani called for the old Cerrone pre-fight, he was likely left wanting the old Cerrone post-fight.
After just 40 seconds, “Cowboy” was finished by the returning former two-division champion in vicious fashion. Since then, the 38-year-old has remained winless, falling to defeats against Anthony Pettis and Alex Morono. He is now booked to fight fellow UFC vet Joe Lauzon in April.
What did you make of Ariel Helwani’s comments in 2019 and Donald Cerrone’s reaction to them?