MMA journalist Ariel Helwani claims that Luke Littler is a late candidate for 2023 Athlete of the Year.
The 16-year-old darts prodigy defeated Matt Campbell 4-1 at Ally Pally on Wednesday. With this, he advanced to the round of 16 of the world championships.
As anticipation builds, he gears up for another potential clash. He will potentially face off against the legendary Raymond van Barneveld.
MMA reporter Ariel Helwani acknowledged Littler’s exceptional skills and voiced his admiration following the latest triumph.
Helwani wrote on Twitter: “Luke making a strong late push for 2023 athlete of the year. Sublime stuff from the teenager.”
While darts fans echoed their support, this tweet left UFC enthusiasts fuming.
Reacting to Helwani’s tweet, one follower wrote, “You just lost your journalism credentials please turn them in at your earliest convenience.”
Helwani playfully replied: “More of an MVG guy?”
Another follower wrote: “A dart player for athlete of the year? Be for real.”
Another follower commented: “Athlete of the year? I don’t know what’s worse that shout of the fact you jump between football teams.”
Others countered that Littler hadn’t defeated any top players yet. Therefore, he hadn’t accomplished enough to be named Athlete of the Year.
A comment read: “Bit soon to say that Ariel. Let Luke prove himself against the best first. Wait and see how he copes with a bit of pressure.”
Another echoed the same sentiment: “That would be like Jon Jones getting MMA fighter of the year, he’s done well in one senior tournament that doesn’t warrant athlete of the entire year.”
Ariel Helwani is one of the most popular MMA journalists. He initially gained prominence for his coverage of the UFC in the United States. Helwani said last year that he was a fan of Nottingham Forest and that he fell in love with darts while working in the UK.