MMA Payout asks an interesting question: now that the UFC is breaking into the magazine business (via a partnership with the guys who do Men’s Fitness), are they going to crack down on other magazines’ access to everything?
With the UFC entering the market, do the MMA print mags get the Sherdog treatment, with credentialing and photo usage being pulled, now that they are ostensibly competing? Or do they get MMAWeekly’d, with some degree of reasonable access being given? I’d probably lean toward the latter, as the general coverage by the big two is uncritical. With the exception of the Roger Huerta piece that appeared in Fight! that rattled a few Zuffa cages, little that appears in big two would deserve a heavy handed approach by the UFC, but to paraphrase Will Munny, deserved often has nothing to do with it. The coverage is generally pliable, and heavily leaning towards the Zuffa duo of the UFC and WEC (with Josh Barnett being being the only non-Zuffa fighter to grace the Fight! cover.) The MMA fan would be well served with these guys keeping credentials, but such a criteria often doesn’t enter the equation when bottom line decisions are being made.
I really do need to get out and pick up a copy of this magazine to see if it’s complete shit or not. No offense to the UFC staff writers or whoever they get to fill this magazine with stuff, but I seriously doubt that they’re going to be able to provide as much interesting and thought provoking material. For the most part I’m expecting this thing to be a giant monthly advertisement, and while the access given to UFC mag writers will probably be much better than other magazines get already, I doubt they’ll be able to use it to share the kinds of things us bigger fans care about.