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Strikeforce goes through the Zuffa press purge

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One of the things that stopped being business as usual with the Strikeforce / UFC sale was something most fans don’t give a shit about but many bloggers and MMA websites do: press credentials. Up until the sale, Strikeforce had a rather porous system where even people who regularly called Scott Coker a dickless tard could get ringside seats. AKA even Fightlinker could get creds. Now that the UFC has taken over though, that’s no longer the case.

For those of you who didn’t know, the UFC runs an amazingly anal credential system. 99% of the websites out there covering MMA can’t even get a reply to a request, and that includes big players like Bloody Elbow. I’m not 100% sure about MMA Junkie any more, but there were times in the past where their people had to literally HIDE from UFC staff to keep from being tossed out of arenas. And they’re the biggest, tamest MMA site out there!

It’s not just a hate-on for the MMA blogosphere though. The UFC has cut off press credentials to lots of people due to slights real and imagined. Sherdog tops the Dana White shitlist and through them writers like Josh Gross and Loretta Hunt, who got a ‘fuck you bitch’ shoutout from Dana during a vlog a while back. Unfortunately for them, the amnesty offered by Dana to people like Paul Daley and Josh Barnett has not been extended to the press. Here’s Loretta talking about how she’s barred from getting creds at Strikeforce events now:

“Did it hurt me? Yeah, sure. That was my first assignment for CBS Sports. I worked with one of the editors, producers over there who does the NFL and also had done MMA in the past. His name is Denny Burkholder, he’s a big fan of Mixed Martial Arts and CBS Sports, I’m told, hasn’t really covered MMA for the last year or so for various reasons I’m told because they’ve had some difficulty with getting interviews and things like that in the past, so they kind of cooled off from it and then they were coming back in, this was the first show that they were going to do in quite some time. They brought me in, assigned me, and then we were turned down. So, CBS Sports decided that they just weren’t going to do any coverage at all of the UFC. They don’t want to be told who they can send to their events and who they shouldn’t send to their events representing them.”

 

“Yeah, I mean that I’m sad this door closed. I mean, a door really did close. CBS Sports is not going to look at MMA for at least a little while.”

Jeez, if CBS were smart they would have just NOT hired Loretta Hunt. That’s kinda the whole goal behind Dana banning people he doesn’t like in the first place. As for losing CBS Sports, I don’t think Dana will cry much. The UFC is used to all sorts of news outlets ignoring them because the old fogeys in charge are out of touch morons. One more won’t make or break anything.

I’m not saying I support this kinda thing. I’m right there with the League of Excommunicated Media in wishing for a less Darth Vader approach to MMA credentialization. But unless Dana White strokes out, the UFC will continue to play hardball with anyone he feels is an enemy of the sport. Especially his Axis of Evil that consists of Loretta Hunt, Josh Gross, Sherdog, and CagePotato.

57 COMMENTS
  • Take It Easy says:

    Loretta Hunt, pound for pound most LULZ from an mma blogger

  • Take It Easy says:

    mma “media” are shit and they deserve to be treated like shit

  • DJ ThunderElbows says:

    Meh, I’m all for public entities controlling their own “media” exposure.

    I wish Dana was man enough to take negativity from Loretta and not look insecure about her perspectives on his business practices, but he’s not. Nothing to be upset about.

    Cagepotato deserves what they got, though. Fucking imbeciles.

  • frickshun says:

    Considering I’m almost as big of a mark for Dana as Subotic is, that was a total bitch move & I’m glad CBS said fuck off to the coverage then. THAT is how mainstream media handles wannabe demagogues like Dana.

    PS: Love you Dana, please don’t be mad. I think someone hijacked my FL account….

  • Billytk says:

    I know Cage Potato gets a lot of hate around here and although I won’t go so far as to say showing arianny’s pics was a smart move I seriously doubt that everyone shitting on them here refused to go have a look because of their principals while they were up

  • Billytk says:

    I agree with frick, if MMA is EVER going to go mainstream then this kind of shit has to stop.

  • thingvolds says:

    i read the whole thing and still have no idea where FL stands on this issue. are you siding with your mma blog bretheren in hopes of maintaining some semblance of journalistic intergrity, or are you siding with zuffa in hopes of one day getting credentialed so you can make a living off this shit? are you kevin iole or are you eddie goldman? either way i would understand, but id like to know who you side with.

  • thingvolds says:

    “As for losing CBS Sports, I don’t think Dana will cry much.”

    yeah and somehow i think cbs sports will survive without the ufc.

  • agentsmith says:

    On one hand, Dana does handle such things in a very petty, unprofessional manner.

    On the other hand, the news media (of all kinds, not just sports) far too often act as self-entitled as any celebutante.  They seem to think that simply being a “journalist” should grant them an automatic VIP pass to the entire universe, otherwise they bitch and moan about what an asshole you are.  It’s basically the same as someone telling you, “let me into your party or I’ll talk shit about you behind your back.”  And Dana’s like, “you’re not invited to my party anyway, cause you talked shit about me.”

    And considering much (if not most) of the “MMA media” are really glorified bloggers, it’s no surprise that Dana doesn’t think most of them are worth a free ringside seat.

     

    So are we getting credentials for UFC 129 or what?

  • Take It Easy says:

    lol cbs how the ufc reach their geriatric audience without cbs sports at their events

    click thru the link to the fightopinion article and you can hear horseface’s new boyfriend talking about how he’s “uncomfortable” at mma events because the fans are all gay skinheads

    the worse dana treats these people the more i like him

  • andherewego says:

    There’s a big, big difference between the “banned media” list in general and Hunt.

    She’s been from FC Fighter to Fight Network to Sherdog/ESPN to the LA Times to now CBS Sports in what, three years? four, maybe? Think there might be a reason why everything she touches somehow ends up in controversy, and that she can’t hold down a job anywhere?

    Gross absolutely deserves a credential, Sherdog you can debate, Loretta, different story.

  • Márcio says:

    Wait… Fightlinker doesn’t get ufc credentials? Even with Subo? I guess his shilling is too irelevant for Dana to take notice.

  • CAP says:

    I think Dana has a Super Shit List topped by Hunt and Gross. Josh Gross was at Sports Illustrated and ESPN and he still can’t get credentialed. I’m waiting for the day when Dana has to back off and let Gross in against his wishes to satisfy another company. Maybe that will never happen but some day I have to believe this media policy is going to get some serious push back from a big entity. It should be entertaining.

  • Grappo says:

    She’s been from FC Fighter to Fight Network to Sherdog/ESPN to the LA Times to now CBS Sports in what, three years? four, maybe? Think there might be a reason why everything she touches somehow ends up in controversy, and that she can’t hold down a job anywhere?

    Failing upward?

  • Take It Easy says:

    pole vault

  • ghostboner says:

    Dear Lord forgive me for I am about to sin, and agree with take it easy. Dana will not start to give a shit, no one will leverage him into credentialing anyone he doesn’t want, and sooner or later networks and major media outlets will realize “Holy shit, this homosexual skinhead wrestling stuff is really getting big. We need in on it. Send someone to cover it. Someone who isn’t blacklisted.” And then they will just send someone who isn’t blacklisted.

  • ghostboner says:

    And blacklisting CagePotato for posting the ring girl’s stupid Playboy pics (that were probably leaked by her stupid boyfriend) is just retarded. She holds up a cardboard octagon. I think Dana must be banging her or something cause I can’t figure out why he gives a shit. But no way CP deserves to get shit on for that.

  • Dexerion says:

    Why does the UFC have to allow people that openly shit talk them constantly special access to cover their events? What kind of business sense does that make? “Let’s enable reporters to put negative press out there about us.” Great call!

  • Symbul says:

    I’ll pick up this random piece of conversation to start: Arianny’s pictures in Playboy being “leaked” on CagePotato is a piece of complete non-news. Someone on this earth thinks naked pictures of a minor celebrity in a print magazine are going to not get uploaded to 10000 hosts immediately? CagePotato is not the kind of organization I care whether or not gets seats in row X or press row (or any seats if we go there). And noone else does either. Dana is simply using it as a show of force.

    And that is what Dana’s (and I’ll say Dana’s rather than the UFC’s) media policies are all about. Cowing the media into toeing the line with him, and it’s a completely arbitrary line drawn exclusively at his whim.

    Look at Sherdog.com. It covers the UFC more than anything else, has extensive coverage of every single UFC card on fight week and before and you’d have an extremely hard time picking up a single hint of anti-UFC/Zuffa sentiment anywhere. They have a huge following and are a completely legitimate outfit in this market, but they’re not credentialed. Why? Because Josh Gross got wind of TUF 4 results and… what? Loretta Hunt was there once and Dana has nitpicked at their editing choices and their rankings once or twice (which is ludicrous).

    By barring them he’s just maintaining this reminder of “Dana white taketh away” for anyone else covering the sport.

    He’s not adverse to picking winners either. Anyone remotely paying attention can see that Ariel Helwani is one of those. Now, Ariel is good at his job and that’s alright, but the official Versus gigs, the exclusive after exclusive after official breaking news are an obvious result of Dana making that his premier media vehicle (when he doesn’t want to get the vaseline to make Iole “report” something). What would MMAFighting be without all of that? I mean, they’re good (Fowlkes and Chiapetta especially), but without all of this help of Dana showing up in person and sending fighters at pain of penalties to his interviews, they’d be a notably less successful outfit.

  • scissors61 says:

    The big problem I’ve always had with Dana’s Playboy pics tantrum is that it wasn’t even UFC’s content that got posted. Those pictures weren’t the property of the UFC in any way, shape or form. So that’s Dana basically going off the deep end over a small section of someone else’s content getting posted on a website. Just doesn’t sit well with me.

  • thingvolds says:

    cage potato didnt dick arianny or cost her any money. if anything they did her a favor by creating some buzz.

    no one buys playboys anymore. no one is spending $6 to see arianny fake tits when they can log on to spankwire and beat off to a moving image for free. the only way people would take a minute out of their life to see her very disappointing pics is if they knew they could just go to cage potato and see them for free. otherwise no one would see them.

    arianny is like a very average indie rock band whos lame album got leaked onto a file sharing network. she should just be glad someone is listening because otherwise she would be completely ignored.

  • matthewpolly says:

    Let’s not forget, internet sites and bloggers like sherdog helped keep MMA alive when it was banned in 47 states and not allowed on cable networks. Dana did save MMA but he didn’t do it without any help. Shitting on your old friends after you go big time is revolting, no matter what the reason (see also: Big John). If Dana really wants the UFC to be bigger than the NFL, he needs to start acting like a professional when it comes to dealing with the media. And BTW, Loretta is a really nice person who works very hard to report her stories. Dana should be boosting her not banning her.

  • Take It Easy says:

    lol at some shitty wordpress blog creating “buzz” for anyone

  • matthewpolly says:

    Also, let’s get rid of this myth that cagepotato got banned because they leaked Arianni’s playboy photos. That was the excuse Dana used, so he could seem chivalrous. Dana doesn’t give a shit about Playboy’s intellectual property rights. Also, having worked for Playboy I know that they “leak” photoshoots to 3rd party websites to generate buzz for an upcoming issue. They used to do that with WWE female wrestlers. Finally, Dana was banning cagepotato long before the leak. I know because I drove one their writers around Vegas when he got his credentials to UFC 100 yanked at the last minute over some other unrelated crap.

    Dana White banishes reporters for the same reason every other insecure, tinpot dictator with a small penis does: to frighten everyone else into towing the party line. And it works.

  • Take It Easy says:

    matthewpolly providing first hand evidence why zuffa’s attitude towards “media” is justified

  • scissors61 says:

    Goddammit, people.  CP straight dicked Arrianny.

    No, they dicked Playboy. I HIGHLY fucking doubt the girls in that magazine get a percentage of sales after the fact. 99.9% likelihood is that she’d already cashed her check by the time those scans hit the internet. 

  • scissors61 says:

    Also, I expect each and every person railing against cagepotato to abstain from the “favorite nudes” thread forever, seeing as most of those pictures are jacked from other sites. 

  • subo says:

    There’s a difference between railing against Cage Potato and being fucking BAFFLED that anyone holds the UFC ban against the UFC.  It.  Makes.  Sense.

  • scissors61 says:

    As Matthew and myself have made clear, on its face the reasoning makes no sense. Banning a website from credentialed coverage for violating a completely separate entity’s intellectual property rights is ludicrous. It’s akin to Rolling Stone being barred from critics’ screenings of Warner Brothers films because they put up a pirated album from a band signed to EMI. Dana White’s a more than competent businessman but if you take his reasoning at face value you’re a fool. 

     

  • subo says:

    If Rolling Stone was costing WB/EMI money, it would make eminent sense – just like it does here.  Sales numbers do mean something to Playboy cover models – CP hurt that just for a few cheap pageviews.  Dumb, dumb move by them.

  • iamphoenix says:

    i don’t care.

  • scissors61 says:

    You can’t empirically illustrate in any way that Arianny Celeste’s finances were impacted by Cagepotato putting up shitty scans of her Playboy spread. You just can’t, so stop saying it. 

  • subo says:

    I won’t.  It’s common fucking sense.  It’s like saying streaming doesn’t hurt the UFC because most of those people weren’t going to buy it anyway.  Some of them would have, both ways.  CP hurt Celeste’s earning power and sales numbers which, even if she doesn’t make commission, impact her future earning power.  And they did it for page hits, using her naked pics to generate revenue when they didn’t pitch any money to making them happen AND before Playboy could generate revenue using said pics (ie, their property, with Arianny’s permission.)

    Bloggers unite and shit, but CP deserved what it got.

  • matthewpolly says:

    subo, I love you brother, and I wouldn’t want to argue with you…
    But here are the facts: Playboy used to have about a 3 million subscriber base (they paid the annual fee; the money was in the bank). But these subscribers were paying about $2 per issue. The newsstand price was $6. Playboy was averaging about 500,000 in newsstand sales (i.e. additional money), which is, if my math hasn’t been lost to head shots, $3 mil per month (minus the distribution costs). This newsstand number fluxed depending on who was on the cover and how much excitement there was for her. A boring girl might only get 200K (or $1.2 mil) but a fan-based thriller might get 800k (or $4.8 mil). Again, check my math, but that is $3.6 mil difference for a single month.

    So they developed a clear strategy for generating buzz for their cover girl. Does anyone think they picked Arriany because she’s the hottest babe in the world? They did it because MMA fans have an attachment to her. (Also because the UFC is major advertiser for Playboy, but more on that later.) And so leaking her photos to MMA websites made financial sense.

  • iamphoenix says:

    subo is retarded.

  • scissors61 says:

    CP hurt Celeste’s earning power and sales numbers which, even if she doesn’t make commission, impact her future earning power.

    How so? By creating interest? Ha. I hope you’re not getting a minor in marketing. Of all the Dana talking points you’ve parroted over the years this one is by far the dumbest. 

  • subo says:

    I don’t Dana ever went in to any kind of nuance about it, but I can’t imagine a scenario in which he a) lets someone screw one of his employees (clearly one he loves, witness the Natasha-Logan scenario) and/or b) is ignorant as to how Playboy was planning to market the issue.

    If you’re saying that Dana orchestrated feigned outrage at CP over a Playboy marketing tactic that he couldn’t have possibly been ignorant of (the man has final approval of UFC Magazine for fuck’s sake), then I think you’re giving him too much credit.

  • scissors61 says:

    I don’t know why you keep going on about Arianny getting “screwed” when it’s been made clear that she wasn’t. You’ve lost this one, go argue about something else. If any party in this was screwed (aside from Cagepotato), it was Playboy. Do you see them raising a stink? It’s also abundantly clear to everyone without blinders on that the Playboy bruhaha was simply an excuse for Dana to de-credential a website he doesn’t particularly like. Does that really sound so implausible to you? I thought part of the reason you worship Dana White so much is his cutthroat business style. 

  • subo says:

    Dana doesn’t need an excuse to shit can a fucking journalist/web site.  Maybe he planted those controlled explosives in WTC 7 too.

  • subo says:

    And also: Gross and Sherdog at least had some kind of journalistic excuse to fall back on when they ratted the TUF results.  CP can’t even pretend that in this instance.

  • scissors61 says:

    The fact that you’re comparing people who disagree with you to 9/11 truthers is proof enough that you don’t have a pot to piss in when it comes to this argument. Your ridiculous Dana apologism is exactly the same as the PRIDE fandom you claim bothers you so much. 

     

  • subo says:

    Well, not EXACTLY the same – mine is actively recruiting new followers while the other is dead dead dead dead.

  • thingvolds says:

    this thread has turned into a nightmare for subo. he may never post again.

  • subo says:

    I can’t pretend that Dana knew Playboy was going to do that and decided to fuck with CP on the false pretense OR that Playboy leaked the photos without Zuffa’s knowledge.  CP did it, took it down after they got a cease and desist, and laughed all the way to the bank.

    ZERO sympathy.

  • scissors61 says:

     OR that Playboy leaked the photos without Zuffa’s knowledge. 

    Yeah, because I’m sure Hef and his editors always call up the bosses of cover girls and give them the info on their business decisions. Standard practice over at Playboy, I’m sure. 

  • iamphoenix says:

    this is like arguing over pokemon cards.

  • scissors61 says:

    i wouldn’t know what that’s like, but if you’re into it mazeltov 

  • iamphoenix says:

    its like this. thats why i said it.

  • Reverend Clint says:

    cover girls are not like fighters and dont get a cut of the # of mags they sell…. its a flat fee. getting some grainy/shitty pics of some fake boobs isnt going to hurt arianny. CP was probably already in the shitter and this was just a good reason to mkae it official, as polly pointed out. Playboy now adays has like 10 pics of women and 100 pages of shitty ads and stupid articles that really belong in the US version of maxim. 99% of the chicks in playboy are crap and arianny is borderline.

  • scissors61 says:

    so how many pokemans do you have 

     

  • iamphoenix says:

    including your sister…1.

  • matthewpolly says:

    Dana White has had a close relationship with Playboy for years. The UFC was a major advertiser. In return, Playboy interviewed him not once but twice (Jimmy Carter only got one interview). They also did a longish profile on The Iceman. The UFC has also had a “one hand washing the other” relationship with Rolling Stone and Esquire. It is smart business practice on their part and I admire their skill at manipulating the main stream media. What I don’t admire is them shitting on working journalists trying to make a living covering a sport we all love. And I don’t admire apologists for that kind of behavior.

  • jim genia says:

    i admire you, matt.

  • iamphoenix says:

    ^totally homo.

  • matthewpolly says:

    thanks, jim.

  • iamphoenix says:

    ^totally homo.

  • agentsmith says:

    I admire you, phoenix*.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    *This is a lie.

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