“This has become ridiculous”: Ariel Helwani jibes at UFC President Dana White over comments made on Francis Ngannou’s UFC departure

Ariel Helwani expressed his thoughts on Dana White’s remarks after UFC Vegas 73 regarding Francis Ngannou’s decision to join the PFL, and he criticized how White presented the situation to undermine the signing.

Helwani, during an episode of The MMA Hour, specifically targeted Dana for the statements he made in his post-event press conference over the weekend.

Ariel noted that Dana shaped the narrative to imply that Ngannou is not an active fighter. Which was seen as a form of disrespect towards the former heavyweight champion and the PFL.

Ariel Helwani

What Ariel had to say

“Between February of 2019 and January of 2022, which is three years, he fought five times. Now he hasn’t fought in 18 months because he’s coming off ACL surgery and was a free agent and had to deal with all that. So to frame that he hasn’t fought, he fights once every year. Is a bullsh*t way of framing all of this.”

During the discussion on The MMA Hour, the host highlighted a discrepancy in White’s statements. Pointing out that Dana repeatedly mentioned that ‘The Predator’ was released.

Whereas in reality, Ngannou fulfilled his UFC contract and declined their offer during negotiations for a new deal. Ariel reiterated his criticism of White, particularly in response to the UFC president’s claim that Francis is afraid of taking risks.

Dana White

“Like, literally, that guy [Francis Ngannou] put his life on the line multiple times, was put in detention centers multiple times, had to jump off rafts, had to swim…had to live homeless. That guy doesn’t wanna take risks? What are we talking about now? This has become so ridiculous.”

Given the circumstances, it is highly probable that Dana will face more questions regarding the PFL and Francis in the future. Especially when the Jones vs. Stipe Miocic fight is scheduled. It is expected that White’s involvement with the PFL and Ngannou will resurface as a topic of discussion.

Ariel responded to White’s assertions about the PFL receiving investment from the Middle East. Which prompted the UFC president to question the reasons behind supporting their promotion.

What Dana White commented on Francis Ngannou

During the mentioned episode, Helwani further expressed his opinions regarding Dana’s statements made during the post-event press conference for UFC Vegas 73.

One of White’s claims included the PFL receiving financial support from the Middle East and their alleged interest in acquiring Bellator.

The MMA journalist acknowledged that there was indeed interest in acquiring Bellator. However, Ariel noted that the PFL is no longer considered the leading contender for the purchase. Emphasizing that receiving funding is not inherently a negative thing.

“The investment from the Middle East, that is true as well and that is close. How is that a sign that they don’t know what they’re doing? In fact, if there is someone out there that is willing to pay them $300 million. That means that there’s people out there that believe in them.”

What are your thoughts regarding this? Let us know in the comment section below.

Sami Haider

542 articles

Sami Haider is a UFC/boxing journalist who connects combat sports to pop culture. His deep passion for the UFC started in 2018, triggered by the UFC 229: Khabib vs. McGregor fight. He is a passionate writer who has a profound love for the sport and the skills that are used in it. Through his work, Sami aspires to connect combat sportsmen and their enthusiastic fans.


Leave a Comment