Monday, October 3, 2022

Helwani: Dana White Doesn’t Deserve Credit For Saving UFC 279

MMA reporter Ariel Helwani believes that credit for the late UFC 279 card changes is being directed to the wrong individual.

Last weekend, the MMA leader hosted its latest pay-per-view from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. But despite the event being a marquee one, featuring one of the sport’s biggest superstars, the top three matchups on the card were created just 24 hours prior to fight night.

After planned headliner Khamzat Chimaev had his weight cut stopped following concerns for his health, resulting in a 7.5-pound miss on the scale, the promotion set about reorganizing the card.

Ultimately, six fighters shared the Octagon with new opponents after changes that were announced just hours before Friday’s ceremonial weigh-ins.

The reaction to the eventual card and the events that went down late on in fight week has seen different takes. Aside from the section who have put forth a conspiracy theory surrounding the changes, most have credited the fighters for saving the day.

But some media members and fans also applauded the UFC president, who revealed the alterations live on Sportscenter. According to longtime MMA journalist Helwani, White is receiving credit that is owed to another UFC higher-up.

Helwani: “Let’s Just Give Credit Where It’s Due”

During a recent episode of The MMA Hour, host Helwani answered fan questions about the unique and unprecedented series of events that preceded UFC 279.

After making note of a tweet from another prominent media member who praised White for saving the PPV card, Helwani insisted that the credit for that feat should be going to the promotion’s chief business officer, Hunter Campbell.

“I saw a tweet from Kevin Iole, where he’s like, ‘Man, what Dana White pulled off in the last six or seven hours, nothing short of amazing,'” Helwani said. “I’ll admit, I was like, ‘I feel like we’re not giving credit to the right person here.’ People thought that it was me being a hater, a stickler, a whatever you call it, but no. In retrospect maybe I should have worded it differently.

“Here’s the thing, if you want to give anyone credit… of course the fighters deserve credit. But I’m talking about from the UFC’s perspective. There was one guy who’s responsible for this. There’s one guy who when I spoke to every single member of this puzzle… it was Hunter…. He’s the reason why this got done.

“Every single person I spoke to said, ‘This was the guy who got it done.’ … Let’s just give credit where it’s due,” Helwani added. “Dana’s the one who’s gonna go out and make the announcement… there’s a general manager on every team who gets the work done and the owner who gets the glory.”

An ESPN MMA article also appears to corroborate Helwani’s claim. The piece details how Campbell temporarily handed over the keys to his Bentley to car fanatic Tony Ferguson after asking “El Cucuy” to step into the main event.

What do you make of Ariel Helwani’s remarks?

Related Articles