Ariel's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Crazy Babbling Sunshine

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    New York, NY

  • AIRED ON:

    Public Television: Season 8

  • ON DVD:

    Roadtrip Nation: Season 8

ARIEL HELWANI

MMA Sports Reporter

“Keep fighting, keep doing your thing.”

INTERESTS:

Journalism Sports

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Chance Confidence Hard Work Negativity Struggle Determination Focus Risk Experience Opportunity Conflict Support & Encouragement Transitions Money & Financial Security Perseverance Regrets Success Passion Family Fulfillment Self-Reflection Desire

TAGS:

alone, aol, blog, blogging, broadcasting, criticism, dana white, gina carano, high school, kent shamrock, MMA, school, shy, solitude, Spike, sports magazines, syracuse university, tito ortiz, UFC, wrestling

BIOGRAPHY:

Looking at Ariel Helwani now, you wouldn't think that this notable MMA sports reporter was an introvert. Growing up, he was timid despite having a lot of friends. He also had an obsession with sports and sports magazines, which led him to his aspiration of becoming a sports broadcaster. While in college, he had his own radio show on pro wrestling and mixed martial arts. Despite his shyness, he was talkative and confident in front of the mic. After graduating, Ariel landed a job with Spike TV, where he was given the opportunity to host a show that centered on "finding the sexiest bartender in America." It wasn't exactly his cup of tea, but Ariel gained experience in on-screen interviewing. Ariel, however, still wanted to pursue his dream of being a sports broadcaster. So, he started a WordPress blog that centered on interviews with MMA fighters. He contacted about 30 fighters a day for interviews—and to his surprise, the pro fighters responded. Although he booked sought-after interviews, he received criticism from the public. Viewers of his blog poked fun of Ariel, causing him to lose confidence and contemplate if this path was right for him. He soon received an ego boost, however, when he interviewed MMA fighter Gina Carano, who assured him that he shouldn't give up. In 2010, Ariel received the "MMA Journalist of the Year" award.

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