Ariel Helwani and Belal Muhammad went back and forth on Twitter recently. It all started when Helwani, on his MMA Hour show claimed that Muhammad didn’t like him, before going on to add that it was a case of an Israel-Palestine issue. It is worth noting that Helwani is Jewish, and Muhammad has Palestinian roots.
Following Helwani’s response, Muhammad took to Twitter to call Helwani’s take a “Weak response.” He expressed his disbelief at someone like Ariel Helwani bringing race into the picture. However, Muhammad did add that he had nothing against the famed journalist.
Helwani then posted a number of Tweets explaining his case. He stated that he had learned about Muhammad’s disliking through his (Muhammad’s) management. He finally mentioned that it was Ali Abdelaziz (Muhammad’s manager) who had banned Helwani from interviewing his clients.
“That was said to me by your management” – Ariel Helwani to Belal Muhammad
Helwani wrote: “This was said to me by your management. I was told you thought I didn’t like you because of this. I was shocked. I’ve never looked at life that way. And the next time I saw you in person at media day I went straight to you to clear the air. Do you recall that?“
He added: “Did you miss when I was giving you glowing praise for taking the Leon fight on my show with DC? When I said you got a raw deal? I’m sure it was a hectic time but I did. I’m sorry you feel I don’t root for you or give you shine – I try not to root for anyone – but I’ll do better.”
He made it clear that he didn’t dislike Muhammad: “And to be very clear, I never said I disliked you because of that, I said I thought you dislike me because of that – because that’s what was said to me. Also because any time someone talks shit about me here you like and RT it. I see it. Do I ever do that to you? Nah, I don’t.”
“I gave you props on Wed for offering to step up and for being a good analyst. Did you miss that? Again, no hate for you at all. You’re doing great. I tried to fix when I heard how you felt. Please keep it real. Would love to have you on the show. Much love. Wish you the best.“
About the Abdelaziz situation Helwani said: “And why haven’t interviewed you for the past 2.5 years? Well that’s because your current manager banned all his clients from talking to me since April 2019. You know this. Not my call, his. Gladly, some are starting to realize how silly that is. You have an open invitation.“
Belal Muhammad last faced Demian Maia at UFC 263. He won the fight via. unanimous decision. The 33-year old will be looking forward to maintaining his good run of form, when he takes center stage next. On the other hand, Helwani, has been expressing his views freely and independently ever since leaving ESPN. He is currently neck-deep in an online feud with Brendan Schaub.