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MMA Fighting statement on credential bans lifted by UFC

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

After a conversation with UFC officials Monday night, a credential ban on reporter Ariel Helwani, photo journalist Esther Lin and video journalist E. Casey Leydon has been lifted. is appreciative of the fact that the UFC was willing to rethink its stance, however, we respectfully disagree with the UFC's claim that "recurring tactics used by [Ariel Helwani] extended beyond the purpose of journalism."

SB Nation and MMA Fighting will continue to stand behind Helwani's work and the contributions of the rest of the employees on the staff. would like to sincerely thank all the fans, media and fighters who supported us during this time.

The full UFC statement is below:

Following a conversation with the editorial team at SB Nation, UFC will not prevent from receiving media credentials to cover live UFC events. We respect the role the media plays in our sport and beyond, including MMAFighting’s ability to report news. However, in our opinion, we believe the recurring tactics used by its lead reporter extended beyond the purpose of journalism. We feel confident our position has now been adequately communicated to the SB Nation editorial team.

UFC’s goal as the world’s leading mixed martial arts promotion is to cultivate interest in its world-class athletes and events, and deliver for the fans. We will continue to introduce this sport and its athletes to new fans across the world, and we will do so by working alongside media across all platforms.

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