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NewsAEWAriel Helwani Addresses Tony Khan's Tweets, Says He Thought They Were Fake

Ariel Helwani Addresses Tony Khan’s Tweets, Says He Thought They Were Fake

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In October 2022, Tony Khan’s interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour became infamous when Helwani criticized him for outrightly denying to address the ‘Brawl Out’ incident following AEW All Out 2022 involving CM Punk, his comments at the media scrum, and his subsequent (shoot) backstage brawl with Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks.

Fast forward four months later, during the February 17 episode of WWE SmackDown, Tony Khan reignited the issue by sending a tweet directed at Helwani, who was a guest on the show. You can check out that exchange below:

On his own show, The MMA Hour, Ariel Helwani has now responded to the seemingly unnecessary comments made by Tony Khan. He also elaborated on his recent appearances in WWE, explaining that he does not consider himself to be a “wrestling journalist” in the first place. He said,

“I’m not a wrestling journalist. I’ve never called myself a wrestling journalist. I don’t report on wrestling like others do. I do interview wrestlers, I enjoy it tremendously, I try to think and act like a journalist when I do these interviews, but I am not a wrestling journalist. I, obviously, have relationships with people there because Nick Khan, the CEO, was my agent. I can’t hide from that. I wasn’t sure what direction I should go, what should I do. I came to the conclusion that, in life, especially post-ESPN, I just want to have fun. I want to do fun things. I came to the conclusion, around December, if an opportunity comes up again, I’m going to take it. It’s always been a bucket list thing for me. I made a promise to myself, without seeking it, if this opportunity came up again, I would seriously consider it because life is too short, I want to have fun. I’m not a wrestling journalist. I think people are confusing me for my role in MMA, it’s not the same. All things aren’t equal.”

Helwani also expressed his general wonderment at Tony Khan not only acknowledging that he was watching SmackDown live on Twitter, but also being petty enough to take shots at him and reigniting their spat. He added,

“I swear to God, I looked at it three times and I thought it was fake. Anyone can have a blue check. This guy doesn’t follow me, he’s never tweeted me, there is no way he actually tweeted this. Number one, proving that he was watching, which is bizarre. Why would you do that? Why would you put the competition over and show that you’re watching some random SmackDown and a random moment in the telecast.” 

“The real thing he should have done is not say anything because why put over the competitions broadcast? You talk about an own goal, I know Fulham is having a better season, they certainly haven’t had a great run with the Khans involved, but this was an all-time great own goal. I couldn’t believe it. I had to check multiple times if it was really him.”

He also shared how he wasn’t going to let someone like Tony Khan disparage his credibility and integrity as a journalist.

“I was not going to let this guy, who has built an amazing thing, all credit to him. This kid, who, if it wasn’t for his old man…let me tell you something, my dad gave me a lot, but as far as MMA journalism and everything I’ve built, that was all on me. I’m very proud of what I’ve built. I wasn’t going to let this guy f**king soil my name, drag it through the mud, ruin my night. I know he’s trying to get himself over on me because lord knows he needs it, I wasn’t going to let that happen. Absolutely not. I can tell you a lot of other stuff about that interview that we didn’t show about how weird and bizarre that whole thing was, but I’m not going to do that. I thought I wasn’t going to reply, but then I was like, ‘F**k it, Helwani, 10-7, all day, everyday.’ I was like, ‘I’m not going to let this slide. You’re not going to call me a fraud and get away with it.'”

You can check out the latest episode of the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani below: