Sherdog Full Contact fighter denied credentials to UFC ???

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    Chad Moechnig
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    chad
    Post subject: Sherdog Full Contact fighter denied credentials to UFC ??? PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2005 6:31 am
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    Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2004 7:16 am
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    Mixed Martial Arts News Sites and Publications Denied Credentials to

    UFC 55

    LOS ANGELES, October 3 — The Ultimate Fighting Championship, a mixed
    martial arts promotion under the direction of Zuffa, LLC and owned and
    operated since January 2001 by Las Vegas Station Casino magnates
    Lorenzo and Frank J. Fertitta III, has denied media credentials to
    several MMA-exclusive Web sites and publications for UFC 55 on Oct. 7,
    impeding these media entities from performing their full
    responsibilities to report the event to the public.

    Full Contact Fighter, a print publication and Web site that
    has covered the UFC and MMA worldwide since 1997, was denied a
    credential alongside Sherdog, which has reported since 1999 and is
    the world’s top-rated English-language MMA news Web site, as ranked by
    Alexa; MMAWeekly, home to the most-listened-to daily MMA
    Internet radio show; and MMARingReport, Canada’s top MMA news
    source.

    Brener Zwikel & Associates (BZA), a public relations firm hired to
    administer credentials for the event, began e-mailing credential denial
    notifications on September 12 that stated, “I must inform you that it
    has been determined [applicant] does not meet the qualifications for a
    media credential. Thank you for your application, and for your interest
    in the UFC®.”

    No “qualifications” or criterion for approval were
    provided with these notifications, which, contrary to previous BZA
    credential notifications, were released prior to the application
    deadline. Zuffa has denied subsequent requests for photos, graphics and
    other media-related materials that they previously provided.

    Upon receipt of credential denial, MMA media members
    called and emailed BZA for clarification. BZA indicated that it acted
    solely upon Zuffa’s directive and that further inquiries should be
    forwarded to Zuffa’s Director of Public Relations, Jennifer Wenk. When
    contacted, Wenk said any qualifications BZA implemented per Zuffa
    during the credentialing process were internal and would not be made
    available to the media directly affected by this new policy. Wenk then
    recommended UFC President and Zuffa minority co-owner Dana White be
    contacted.

    On Sept. 20, White received a certified letter from a unified
    group of top MMA media that were denied credentials. The letter
    requested a phone call or meeting with White to address Zuffa’s denial
    of longstanding MMA media. White did not respond. A subsequent phone
    call to UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta has also remained unreturned.

    On Sept. 30, one week before UFC 55, White spoke with a
    designated representative of the MMA media group and said that Zuffa
    had not implemented new qualifications for media credentials. White
    said it was his company’s prerogative to accept or deny credentials and
    that he was presently denying all MMA-exclusive media Web sites.

    However, Full Contact Fighter, a print publication and Web
    site, was among those denied media credentials. Zuffa’s decision to
    deny credentials has impeded Sherdog.com, Full Contact Fighter (and
    fcfighter.com), MMAWeekly.com, MMARingReport.com and other Web sites
    from providing the quality and quantity of unbiased, even-handed UFC
    coverage that fans and fighters have become accustomed to — and, in
    many cases, dependent upon. It is with great regret and concern that
    these media entities cannot provide the usual pre-fight, live-fight,
    and post-fight coverage of UFC 55 in the form of articles, video, and
    audio that feature the noble athletes of this sport.

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    Rikki
    Post subject: PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 5:25 pm
    Instructor

    Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2004 6:56 am
    Posts: 915
    Location: Lexington, KY
    That’s crazy…and very sad. It’s too bad that they are going to shut out the people who helped them get to where they are now.

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    wrestleone
    Post subject: PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 4:30 am

    Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2004 7:09 am
    Posts: 50
    it figures bite the hand that feeds you………they will eventually pay a price though, the sport is not big enough yet to oust out the hardcrore internet fans who follow

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    Rox21
    Post subject: PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 11:46 am
    Pro Fighter

    Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 6:49 pm
    Posts: 1334
    Location: Kanagawa/Japan
    I think you hit the nail on the head, Rikki. 🙁

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    nhbSDMF
    Post subject: PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2005 7:08 am

    Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2005 6:46 am
    Posts: 33
    Location: Buffalo NY
    debi wrote:
    I was told that the UFC will be handling the news from their own news people and web sites. That should be interesting, I wonder how fans are going to like that not being given unbiased news.

    We were discussing that very idea last night after class. I’m expecting the advent of a UFC Magazine in a few months (that’s just a speculation btw, I haven’t actually heard anything) and they’ll probably redo their site to add forums and have updated news.

    One guy also likened their rationale to how the old WWF began, where the UFC will now only show a fighter’s UFC record and their UFC fight credentials. Thus, giving no merit/credit to other organizations like Pride, KOTC, ROTR, etc. Again, this is pure speculation but stranger things have happened….

    Does anyone know why they revoked the online media rights in the first place? I heard it was because certain sites were leaking spoilers but I haven’t gotten a real confirmation on that. Either way it’s a pretty rash reaction.

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    starbellykeith
    Post subject: PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2005 8:32 pm

    Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2004 12:09 am
    Posts: 200
    Location: Washington, DC/Columbia, MD
    This is Keith Mills from FCF and ADCC News. Been a while since I’ve been around here.

    I’m not fully “in the loop” as I don’t cover the UFC anyway, just the fighters and the feeder shows.

    Last I talked to both editors at FCF there was no official reason any of us were denied credentials. Press contractors said none of them (I haven’t tried in over a year) met criteria but criteria was proprietary info, speak to Dana. Dana didn’t respond. All of that was covered in the press release above and is public record. There are no more solid details.

    I’d like to point out this is a ban on the UFC, not the fighters. I have no clue when it ends as like I said before it isn’t my beat. I refuse to comment on rumors.

    “If the kids are united….”,
    KM

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