Award-winning MMA journalist Ariel Helwani is heading to ESPN next month. The host of the famed The MMA Hour show will be leaving MMAFighting.com and taking his journalistic talents to sports giant ESPN according to a post from Helwani on social media today.
“I’m thrilled to share the news that I’m joining @espn next month. For as long as I can remember, this has been a dream of mine. It’s honestly hard to put into words how much this means to me. Thank you very much @espn for this opportunity. It is an honor to join the very talented team already in place. I remember watching the channel(s) as a kid and dreaming of someday working there. I still can’t quite believe this is coming true. I’ll truly miss working with my colleagues at @mmafightingdotcom. Every single staff member is a phenomenal journalist and an even better person. I made friends for life there and will always cherish our time together. It’s been an incredible nine-year run, and I can’t thank Jim, Kevin and Bryan enough for everything they did for me and my family. I gave everything I had to the site and will continue to support them from afar. thank you Matt and Nick for your help and support in making this happen. And, most importantly, thanks to you, the great fans of this sport, for always supporting my work through all the ups and downs. From Jarry Park to now ESPN, what a fun ride it’s been. We’ve had what I consider to be a special bond for over a decade, and I hope it will remain this way for many years to come. I appreciate your loyalty more than you’ll ever know and hope you believe me when I tell you this dream doesn’t come to fruition without that loyalty. Thank you again. I can’t wait to get started.”
Helwani is the most well-known journalist in the sport and has had some well publicized clashes with UFC President Dana White in the past. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out considering the UFC’s new broadcast deal with ESPN.