Dana White has been busy finalizing the matchups for the upcoming major UFC event on April 13th. Since the beginning of 2024, fans have been consistently active on Dana White’s social media account, regularly checking for any updates about the upcoming historic event.
However, this time, the news about the UFC’s Saudi Arabia event has been announced as postponed.
Ariel Helwani strikes back at Dana White’s claims
Famous reporter Ariel Helwani has addressed the same issue, confirming his earlier revelation that the UFC had initial plans for a fight night event in Riyadh in March. However, recent developments indicate that the dates have been postponed to the month of July.
Upon learning about the postponement, Helwani expressed displeasure regarding the event he previously announced for March, which now won’t be taking place on the initially mentioned date. The prominent reporter attributed the change to Dana White’s ego, suggesting that it played a role in preventing the fight from happening in Saudi Arabia.
“Okay, so that was me… I reported it… He’s essentially confirming my report. He’s saying that it wasn’t good enough. He’s saying he wasn’t happy with the card, so he decided to move it. Ultimately, it’s a bit of an ego thing.”
On the MMA Hour, Ariel Helwani acknowledged that he indeed reported on the UFC fight night scenario. However, he criticized Dana White’s decision not to finalize the card and ultimately placed blame on the UFC president’s ego.
Why did the UFC postpone the Saudi Arabian fight event?
UFC Fight Night 238 has emerged with an announced card, but the main event is yet to receive an official name. The situation that reignited tension between Ariel Helwani and Dana White stems from the UFC president not providing a clear reason for the fight night date postponement despite the card being revealed.
There are also allegations from reporters that the UFC, acting as the authority in Saudi Arabia, is seeking a more compelling fight card.
“I am being told via sources that the planned March 2nd event in Saudi Arabia is being postponed and the target is June,” Helwani revealed, revealing that the month of June will be the next fight night date.
“I was told that the reason for the postponement is because… they want a more entertaining fight card; they want a deeper card with bigger names on it. They weren’t too pleased with what was being offered.”
Dana White dismissed the claims as “bullshit,” stating that they were not even aware of the complete card at that point. According to White, the UFC was dissatisfied with the offerings they had for the event and, as a result, decided to postpone, per SI.com.
Despite having numerous high-octane matchups that could excite fans, it seems it wasn’t sufficient to convince Riyadh officials to host the fights at their arena. Islam Makhachev has already disclosed that he will be fighting in June. If not in March, fans can anticipate his comeback in June as the UFC lightweight champion.
What are your thoughts on Ariel Helwani’s statements about UFC president Dana White?