Askren has a lot to say about Ariel Helwani’s situation with UFC. Askren says, “Ariel, more than anyone, should have known who he’s dealing with. Ariel is not dealing with people who care a lot about ethics. He’s dealing with some Vegas gangsters who, if you piss them off, they’re going to do whatever the hell they want, [whether it is] ethical or not.”
Warren believes “all the pressure came from Brock Lesnar,” but Askren is not convinced. Askren says, “At the end of the day, when has Lorenzo or Dana done what is ethically right?” Askren knows, “Ariel isn’t the first media guy to be kicked out of an event.” Warren understands UFC’s position because “they want control” of their fights and media coverage. “You’re dealing with the mafia. They’re just like USADA.” Askren adds, “If you piss the UFC off, they’re going to throw you under the bus.”
Wheelock calls this “somewhat unprecedented in any sport. He broke a legitimate story and was then booted for it.” Askren agrees: “ If I’m Ariel, I do the same damn thing. If I got the story, I break it. That’s his job, but I’m also not going to be like ‘oh my god, why are they mad at me.’” (25:50-26:00) Warren says, “He did what he was supposed to do, but he did it to a group of people that can fuck him.”
Brock Lesnar returns at UFC 200
Mark Hunt and Brock Lesnar are set to fight in UFC 200, but will Lesnar continue a UFC career after the bout? The hosts agree Lesnar is a WWE “superstar,” but disagree on his future with UFC. Wheelock believes he is coming back for “two fights a year, maybe one fight a year,” but Askren and Warren disagree.
Warren calls Lesnar “the most business-minded athlete there is” and “a superstar.” Askren says, “It’s going to be one fight.” “He’s going to remember how he doesn’t like to get punched and how much it sucks to train.” Warren adds, “UFC is feeling a bunch of pressure from Bellator” to have a big entertaining fight. “Everyone wants to see that monster fight,” says Warren.
Muhammad Ali remembered
Sean Wheelock contends, “Muhammad Ali was truly the greatest of all time.” Askren remembers him as “someone you could look up to, because he stood for what he believed in.” Warren says, “Our coaches were inspired by him. He changed all of athletics, period.”
Muhammad Ali was certainly a controversial figure. Wheelock recognizes that Ali was a conscientious objector and lost out on “the prime of his career,” but “came back and won everyone over.” Joe Warren calls Ali “amazing” and commends him for his objection to fighting in Vietnam.
Sean mentions Kimbo Slice’s passing and ensures listeners his passing will be covered in full on the next podcast. Warren adds, “Bellator nation is sad right now. We’re losing a lot of fighters and great people.”
Art Davie is sadly snubbed by the UFC for their Hall of Fame, and the hosts call it “a disgrace.” Wheelock contends the UFC was not trying to shame Davie but they were “ignoring” him. He also says, “this is the UFC’s private club. They can put in whoever they want.”