Thursday, September 29, 2022

Helwani Defends Luke Rockhold’s Legacy Against Jake Paul

MMA reporter Ariel Helwani went back and forth with Jake Paul on Twitter after the YouTuber-turned-boxer criticized Luke Rockhold’s display at UFC 278.

At this past weekend’s pay-per-view, former middleweight champion Rockhold returned to action for the first time since 2019. Having suffered three knockout losses in his previous four outings, many were expecting the veteran to fall to a similar fate at the hands of Paulo Costa in Utah.

Instead, Rockhold went the full 15-minute distance, and while fatigue quickly became a large factor, the co-main event certainly wasn’t short on entertainment value, which was provided from moments such as some clean connections from the Californian and a memorable blood-smearing effort onto his Brazilian foe’s face in the final moments.

But while many praised Rockhold, who announced his retirement during his post-fight interview, for the show of grit and heart he displayed inside Salt lake City’s Vivint Arena, not everyone was impressed.

Jake Paul Says “Dog Sh*t,” Helwani Says “Incredible Heart”

Taking to Twitter, online star Jake Paul, who’s risen to prominence in combat sports through a career inside the boxing ring, laid into both Rockhold and Costa, branding their performances and the fight as a whole “dog sh*t” in response to a post from Helwani.

After seeing Paul’s take, which also included describing the UFC 278 co-main event as “embarrassing for the sport,” Helwani responded by suggesting that Rockhold showed “incredible heart” inside the cage, especially giving what he went through during his lengthy layoff.

Despite that, Paul clearly had little sympathy for Rockhold.

“Boo Hoo Ariel every athlete has excuses. Does he want a binky? Fighting is the only sport where people listen to excuses,” Paul wrote. “in other sports your CUT and never talked about.. He also didn’t over come anything? He lost.. go home…”

After Helwani expressed disappointed in Paul’s attitude towards a “pioneer” of MMA, the 25-year-old Ohio native laughed off Rockhold’s legacy, claiming that he did nothing for the sport.

The Canadian reporter provided a response that would no doubt be backed by man in the MMA community.

“Yes, a Strikeforce and UFC champ who has been a pro pre-2010 is a pioneer,” Helwani asserted.

After taking the debate away from Helwani’s replies and to his own page, Paul accused the journalist, who played a prominent role in the broadcast for the YouTuber-turned-boxer’s December 2021 bout with Tyron Woodley, of “giving out participation awards.”

In response, Helwani delivered what many considered the Twitter equivalent of a knockout blow, posting an image of “The Problem Child” sporting a self-made championship belt on his shoulder.

What do you make of Ariel Helwani and Jake Paul’s back and forth?

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