If you follow football and mixed martial arts, you’re probably aware that Ariel Helwani is a big Nottingham Forest fan. The journalist’s popular show, The MMA Hour, features sports memorabilia all around the studio set, including a Nottingham Forest pennant on the wall.
Helwani started supporting Nottingham Forest after researching the history and presentation of several Premier League clubs. He said he “felt invested” in the 1979 and 1980 European Cup winners just from looking at their badge.
The Canadian made the decision in August 2022 ahead of Forest’s return to the Premier League after a 23-year absence. “You know, we’re an underdog type of crowd here, so we’re looking at Tottenham Hotspur, Nottingham Forest, Leeds United… I really like Nottingham Forest,” Helwani said on The MMA Hour. “It feels like Robin Hood. There’s a nostalgia factor there.”
Ariel Helwani interviewed Brennan Johnson
In February 2023, Helwani spoke to Brennan Johnson in a video posted on Nottingham Forest’s YouTube channel. The reporter said he prefers not to tell interviewees how much he likes their work, but he made an exception for Johnson.
“I am a huge fan of yours, and I don’t often say that to my interview subjects because I’m supposed to be Mr Journalist, but everyone knows I’m pretty much the biggest Nottingham Forest fan on the planet right now,” Helwani said. “I did become a fan only back in August, but I have gone in with two feet into the deep end because I love everything about the club, I love everything that you’re doing.”
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Helwani attended Nottingham Forest’s 6-0 defeat away to Manchester City on August 31, 2022. City recorded a resounding victory that day thanks to an Erling Haaland hat-trick, two goals from Julian Alvarez, and another goal from Joao Cancelo.
Ariel Helwani supported Everton before Nottingham Forest
Before pledging his allegiance to Nottingham Forest, Helwani appeared to be a loyal supporter of fellow English club Everton. The interviewer proudly displayed an official club mug in the background of his set on The MMA Hour. He also frequently mentioned the Toffees on social media.
Then, out of nowhere, he shared this statement on Twitter on August 5, 2022: “I’m renouncing my rights as an Everton fan. Officially a free agent fan. Open for business. Please send all gifts needed to win over my fandom so I can bring luck and prosperity to your club.”
Naturally, fans wanted to know why Helwani suddenly stopped supporting Everton after so many years. Without giving too much away, he wrote on Twitter that his heart had been broken by the Merseyside club.