Ariel Helwani is coming home.
The award-winning journalist is returning to SB Nation’s MMA Fighting, the premier destination for mixed martial arts and combat sports coverage, and will bring back one of the most popular and influential programs in MMA history: The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani. The franchise relaunches this summer as a twice-weekly podcast from SB Nation and the Vox Media Podcast Network and as a video series on MMA Fighting’s YouTube channel. Fans can expect Helwani’s signature in-depth interviews beginning on Monday, August 16: subscribe to the podcast and YouTube channel today.
Helwani, who spent the first part of his impressive career at SB Nation’s MMA Fighting, returns to Vox Media as a 10-time winner of the World MMA Awards’ “MMA Journalist of the Year” and after three years at ESPN. “It feels like not a day has gone by without someone asking me to bring back The MMA Hour or telling me how much they miss it,” says Helwani, the host and producer of The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani. “Well, I missed it, too. Tremendously. So, I am extremely excited to let the fans know that — finally — The Mixed Martial Arts Hour is back in their life. Man, it feels good to write that.”
“I have always said that, ultimately, I work for the fans. I know this is what the fans wanted, and I’m so glad we were able to give this show back to them. And best of all? It’s now on twice a week. Words cannot properly express how happy I am to return to Vox Media and how excited I am to re-launch the show in August. Take it from me: you can go home again.”
Originally launched in 2009, The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani began as a podcast, hosted and produced by Helwani, and ran for nine years. The show was a staple for every MMA fan across the globe for almost a decade, delivering interviews and groundbreaking content every Monday with the biggest movers and shakers in combat sports. Now, Helwani brings The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani back into the homes of fans on Mondays and Wednesdays at 1 p.m. ET — providing twice the exclusive weekly chats with the sport’s biggest stars. The show will also introduce an exclusive weekly segment that discusses picks and odds for upcoming fights.
“We’re excited to welcome Ariel and the whole MMA Hour community back to MMA Fighting and SB Nation,” says Jermaine Spradley, SVP, SB Nation. “Ariel is a much needed voice in the world of mixed martial arts — and the community that he’s built around that podcast and video series is one we’re excited to help him continue to grow.”
The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani will have its own dedicated podcast feed alongside the MMA Fighting podcast feed from SB Nation, which will continue to release episodes every week from voices such as Mike Heck, Alexander Lee, Jose Youngs, Shaun Al-Shatti, Damon Martin, and Jed Meshew. The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani will also join SB Nation’s growing roster of over 150 podcasts including The SB Nation NFL Show, Bleeding Green Nation, and Silver Screen & Roll — all dedicated to pulling sports fans into communities. SB Nation community podcasts cover all the triumphant wins, heartbreaking losses, silly observations, and the deepest analysis that connect fans together.
The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani is the latest addition to the Vox Media Podcast Network, one of the largest, fastest-growing, and most topically diverse collections of premium podcasts. “Watching Ariel’s audio career develop, at Vox Media and beyond, has been a personal and professional thrill,” says Marty Moe, President of Vox Media Studios, who oversees the company’s TV, OTT, and audio divisions — and who worked with Ariel both during and before his time at Vox Media. “In joining the Vox Media Podcast Network, Ariel returns to a team that’s armed with know-how, infrastructure, and sheer passion for supercharging the already successful show; The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani has a huge future ahead of it.”
Helwani joins an impressive roster of the Podcast Network’s top audio talent including Today, Explained’s Sean Rameswaram, Decoder’s Nilay Patel, Stay Tuned with Preet’s Preet Bharara, and Pivot co-hosts Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway.