Over the past weekend, shortly before the main event of UFC 199, MMAFighting.com lead reporter, Ariel Helwani began live tweeting his ejection from the event, with UFC staff physically rescinding his media credentials, as well as those of photographer Esther Lin and videographer Casey Leydon. Ariel went on to state that not only were they forced to leave the event, that they had also received lifetime bans.
The community expressed shock, anger, sympathy and a litany of other emotions. The situation has continued to unfold, seeing Helwani give a multitude of interviews, and devoting the entirety of his own show, the MMA Hour, to the situation. Several mainstream news outlets are also covering the story.
TMZ has released a response from the UFC side, via a statement from the promotion's president, Dana White. White specifically stated that the "ban" is a real thing, and that as long as he was president of the UFC, Ariel would never receive another media credential. TMZ reports that Dana said that if Ariel wants to attend an event, he can buy a ticket. White went on to reply, "He can cover all the events he wants, he just can't have a credential."