Poor Ariel Helwani. MMA’s foremost reporter is as affiable as they come, yet for some unknown reason he has a habit of finding himself unexpectedly embroiled in mini-feuds with some of the big name fighters he interviews.
Nick Diaz isn’t best pleased with him, he’s had some tense moments with boxer James Toney, and now Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson has jumped on the bandwagon.
According to Rampage he’s upset with some of Helwani’s questions when he appeared as a phone-in guest on the MMAFighting correspondants ‘MMA Hour’ show recently.
Apparently he didn’t take too kindly to being asked about Mike Dolce, the man who helped him cut down in weight after his acting role in ‘The A-Team’ last year, or Strikeforce rival ‘King Mo’.
As the interview progresses Rampage then takes umbrage at Helwani’s attempts to pacify the former light-heavyweight champ, mistakingly telling him that they can ‘squash this right now’, which unbeknown to him is the equivalent of saying ‘Lets fight’ in Rampage’s hometown of Memphis.
An awkward moment then occured as Rampage squares up to him and stares him down, but all credit to the stick-like Helwani who didn’t flinch or back up, and was eventually able to continue on with the interview.
It’s a bizarre little interlude though and in all honesty it’s hard to tell how much of all this was Rampage fooling around, and how much of it was serious.
As UFC president Dana White told Helwani later on in a separate interview, “It’s tough, he’s not the easiest guy to deal with.”
Judge for yourselves by watching the full interview below.