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Ariel Helwani out as FOX Sports MMA journalist?

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According to a Jan. 24 report from Fansided.com, Ariel Helwani may be on the outs with the UFC and FOX Sports.

Helwani, 31, is a Canadian journalist who has been covering MMA professionally since 2006, but his relationship with the top mixed martial arts promotion in the world came into question after he was spotted sitting in the crowd for the UFC on FOX 10 weigh-ins, instead of his usual spot in the media section.

"Sitting with media/fans for a UFC weigh-in for the first time since UFC 141. Great talking to everyone. This is fun! ... Hi Colt Cabana!" Helwani tweeted.

Helwani often handles fighter interviews for the FOX Sports 2 broadcasts of UFC events, but he was notably absent from FOX coverage of the UFC on FOX 10 event.

The standout MMAFighting.com reporter was also not invited to the UFC on FOX 10 pre-fight media scrum with UFC president Dana White, so that's another good reason for fight fans to believe he's on shaky ground with the promotion.

Helwani took to Twitter to address rumors that he has been dismissed as a FOX Sports journalist.

He said it will all make sense soon, but he left things fairly vague.

"Appreciate the love very much," Helwani tweeted. "It'll all make sense soon, but trust me, all's well on this side of the fence. Time to go cover some fights…"

Helwani is set to host a new episode of "The MMA Hour" on Jan. 27, so there's a good chance he'll address the rumors at that time.

There has been speculation on multiple MMA message boards stating that Helwani's recent coverage of a Bellator MMA media event in New York City may have caused the strained relationship with UFC officials. After all, Bellator is the UFC's biggest competitor.

If the rumors are true that Helwani was let go, it would be a major game-changer as far as MMA media goes.

Helwani was named MMA Journalist of the Year at the 2010, 2011 and 2012 World MMA Awards, along with being recognized by Fight! Magazine as one of the top 20 most significant power players, movers, shakers, ambassadors, and game-changers in MMA.

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