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Dana White Never Forgets: Josh Gross, Loretta Hunt and Jeff Sherwood Denied Media Credentials for Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley

(Video courtesy of YouTube/CaptainC01)

About a year ago during an email exchange with a member of the UFC’s PR team about an interview I was setting up I pointed out a terribly uninformed article about UFC 115 printed by one of the most influential newspapers in Canada. “I guess Canwest can kiss their media credentials goodbye,” I quipped.

Obviously the sarcasm of my joke was not evident, perhaps due to my lack of a “winky face” at the end, and I got back the following reply:

“As to Canwest, it is unfortunate that the reporter took this view on the event but it would be unfair, and unprofessional, to attempt to combat this view by denying them future credentials. The press are free to print an opinion that may reflect negatively upon us and we would hope to further educate them so that future articles would be more even handed.”

Apparently Dana White doesn’t share the same view.

News came to light today that several longtime members of the MMA media who have attended countless Strikeforce events have now been denied media credentials for this weekend’s Diaz vs. Daley event.

Josh Gross, Loretta Hunt and Jeff Sherwood were all shut out of Saturday night’s first major Zuffa-run Strikeforce show. All three have tumultuous past history with White and it looks like the UFC president isn’t one to forgive and forget.

Gross was denied the opportunity to ask a question on the Strikeforce conference call this week and Tweeted that it was a strange occurrence that had never happened to him. The incident should have been a clue that the former Sherdog editor and MMA reporter who left Sports Illustrated last year to take an  role with ESPN would be shut out of press row for Saturday’s show. Gross snubbed White by declining his offer years ago to become the editor for and proceeded to piss the Baldfather off even further by revealing the finalists of season 4 of The Ultimate Fighter before the show ran on SPIKE TV and by penning an open letter to him asking that he fix black eyes to the sport he helped perpetuate like the rampant steroid problem in MMA and the thuggish image perpetuated by fighters he employs. Ever since then, Gross has been on the outside looking in at Zuffa’s press row, but it really hasn’t changed the way he covers the sport.

Sherwood, the founder of — the most visited and longest-running MMA site on the web, used to sell UFC DVDs through the site’s web store, but according to Sherwood, a disagreement about the profit margin his company should receive put him at odds with White and led to his credentials being yanked in 2005. In 2009 Sherdog received its credentials back, only to have them pulled again in 2010. When asked for an explanation by Gross, who was writing for SI at the time, White replied via text message: “None of your fucking business.”

Hunt, who now writes for CBS Sports and the LA Times, became the target of White while writing for Sherdog, when a story she wrote about managers and agents having their access to backstage at events restricted, which included *gasp* an anonymous source, went up on the site. White responded by verbally attacking Hunt in one of his video blogs posted on the UFC’s YouTube channel in which he referred to her as a “fucking bitch” and a “fucking moron” among other choice expletives.

Here’s the transcript of the rant for those who can’t watch the video at work:

“I just heard that there was another absolutely fucking retarded story written by Loretta Hunt. Loretta, you fucking moron, it is always been the policy at the UFC that the fighters get so many credentials and they can credential whoever the fuck they want, it can be their manager, whoever they want to have in the back with them, they can credential. And you are such a fucking genius, I actually, totally off track here, I heard your interview that you did too about where you said Rich Franklin was our poster boy and we were trying not to get him beat by Matt Lindland and all that fucking shit, too. Yeah, that’s why he fought Anderson Silva fucking twice because we were trying to fucking protect Rich Franklin to save him. Rich Franklin’s fought the best fighters in the world and the only reason I’m talking about this is just to show how fucking dumb you are, number one, OK? And it’s always been our policy, always, since fucking day one and you also put in the article apparently that you know I used to manage Tito and Chuck. Yeah? You want to know what happened when I managed Tito and Chuck? When I went to their UFC fights, I bought my own tickets. I paid for my tickets to go to the UFC and never was I allowed in the back, to go back there, what the fuck do I need to be in the back for if I’m his manager? What am I holding the mitts for them while they’re warming up? Am I back there talking strategy? No, I’ve done all the fucking business deals before they go there and my work is done, I go there and I watch the fucking fight. I don’t need to be in the fucking back and if I needed to be in the back that bad, then one of those guys would have credentialed me to get in the back, they would have used me as one of their credentials that they get, OK? 90% of the time, these fighters don’t want their fucking managers in the back. You don’t even know what the fuck you’re talking about and to write a story that says, “Oh, and here’s a quote from a guy who wanted to remain anonymous because of fear of repercussions from the,” SHUT THE FUCK UP!! Any fucking guy that won’t put his name on it, first of all, whoever gave you that quote is a pussy and a fucking f–t and a fucking liar and everything else whoever gave you that quote. Or maybe it’s you, Loretta, maybe you’re the liar writing bullshit fucking stories. Everything that comes out of your mouth is fucking stupid, OK? What else… Why would I give a shit who represents who? Yeah, there’s no doubt, there’s some guys out there that have managers that are absolute sleazy, dirty fucking scumbags, absolutely. There’s a lot of them, but there’s a lot of guys out that have a lot of good guys who manage them too, who I have no problem with. Who you fucking ask to manage you doesn’t bother me one bit. Ask fucking Rampage Jackson, OK? Ask Rampage Jackson if I ever said anything about any of his fucking managers or anybody who represented him. Hey Loretta, if you’re going to write a story, you fucking moron, at least make sure it’s fucking true and you have some facts and if you’re going to put some fucking quotes in there, get some quotes from people who at least have the fucking balls to put their fucking name on it. I mean, how do you write a story from a guy who fucking it’s like, hey it’s like in an interview where they fucking like put a black thing over the guy’s face and change his voice and shit, you fucking dumb bitch. Fuck you, Loretta Hunt!”

Hunt tweeted today that she too has been denied media access for the event that she was supposed to cover for her new gig at CBS Sports and now the outlet has chosen not to cover the event at all. If Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker calls CBS to revisit their relationship, you can bet they likely won’t be eager to negotiate a new deal with the Zuffa-owned promotion.

Anyway, fans have confronted White about the situation and he responded in typical fashion.

Business as usual, huh?

Cagepotato Comments

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Newetuah- August 4, 2012 at 4:00 am
In business and social politics. Organizations like the UFC want to foster the impression that they are professional athletes, and not immature thugs. The problem which always occurs, is; that if it is not in them, then at some point they will show it. Same with the concept of being a martial artist. They are not martial artists, they are as Dana has said, "fighters"
Someone like Georges St-Pierre is a martial artist. A martial artist seeks to connect their mind body and spirit into alliance for their best expression.

A fighter can be manipulated by the world to fight.
Putting a mirror to their face can cause them to want to fight. Because they are not accustomed to looking at what they are, instead of what they wish to portray.
A fighter is at their current best expression.
Ironically Dana expressed the idea concerning Josh Koscheck. If they wanted to be martial artists, they would be, but it is just not in them.

They are fighters.
Sugarsmma- April 15, 2011 at 11:43 am
What's the deal with Sam Caplan? I heard they have email proof that he lied about the whole Brookings fiasco.
Shaky- April 11, 2011 at 7:03 am
Printing the Arrianny photos was an awesome thing to do at the time (for us) but I think it is strange to make it out like CP lost their recently gained credentials because of their truth-first renegade reporting. CP pissed Dana off because they printed pictures they legally shouldn't have. Since that happened it feels like it has been referenced every day. Don't get me wrong, the press of large mma news outlets should be credentialed regardless. DW should never have ranted like that at Loretta Hunt, but it did enable her to be the victim. They were both in the wrong, and honestly I don't think DW is homophobic, just mega sweary. No journalist should print news from anonymous sources. Watch season 5 of the Wire to see why that is wrong. Loretta hunt is a bad writer and journalist who jumps on any anti UFC sentiment to stay in the headlines and it's silly.
dranokills- April 9, 2011 at 8:38 pm
hahaha amen brutha.
fatbellyfrank- April 9, 2011 at 5:15 pm
@ Drano, fully understand your points, and yeah I haven't taken this seriously in comments so far, I was just havin a giggle on a saturday afternoon, but, to address the issue, I understand that Dana has been bitten by these reporters, however, when you are the CEO of one of the fastest growing sports companie's on the planet, IMO you need to act in a professional manner and be the bigger human,there will always be conflicting stories, some positive some negative, Dana needs to be above this and not take things personally. In the case of loretta hunt I would pull her credentials for one event, and with that advise if she wants to cover future events she needs to focus on reporting facts not hearsay, but the job of the media is to ask the tough questions, ansd sometimes the recipients dont like it. To close this of, I have the utmost respect for Dana and whats he's done for MMA and the UFC, but he's the biggest name in the sport and should behave in a professional manner when in the public eye.
Now , Drano, I suggest we get some beers and watch reruns of the Lingerie Football League, all the best to you my brother from anutha mutha
Dagnut- April 9, 2011 at 12:44 pm
Makes ya burst with pride doesn't he? who better to represent the sports eh? Classy guy...
Fried Taco- April 9, 2011 at 10:38 am
@J-Dog - You better be quick, my cock crows fast!
Dan The Viking- April 9, 2011 at 10:12 am
@J-Dog thats very honorable of you.
J-Dog- April 9, 2011 at 9:09 am
I really hate this because I met Dana and pleaded our case in person, face to face with him. He acted genuine and polite to me and he immediately directed his assistant to hook us up. I met up with him at the event (UFC 119) and again thanked him and he was very personable with me and thanked US for coming out to cover the event. I thought we did a great job with it WITHOUT any dick sucking in the writeup after-the-fact (it wasn't a great main event and it was written up that way, no punches pulled).

Then the shit with the pictures happened and I don't think it was handled in the best way by Dana or CP - but I will give the benefit of the doubt to CP since I don't know what was done or said outside of the public eye after the picture fiasco. Maybe calls were made.... maybe apologies were made... I don't know. But I can say that the attitude and "free Cage Potato" campaign aren't going to be productive in resolving the beef.

I think it's unfortunate and maybe DW doesn't remember me at all, but it does bother me that I was the face of CP for DW for a short time and I really hope he doesn't think any less of me personally, because I had nothing to do with any of it. Not that it matters in the big scheme of things, but I just hate it when someone thinks negatively of me when I don't deserve it.

If I run into DW at another event and he remembers me, I will deny CP three times before the cock crows.
Dan The Viking- April 9, 2011 at 8:35 am
In other news Rex13 just got his credentials from perverted justice. Have a seat right over there please.
smiledriver- April 9, 2011 at 8:14 am
Well, the UFC and Zuffa can do what they want I suppose. I just think someone has to reign in Dana White and his personal beefs with the media and fighters. Rants aside, what kind of relationship do you want with the press going forward?
RearNakedSpoon- April 9, 2011 at 3:54 am
I sympathise with CP on this issue but Sherderp are hypocrites refusing to suck Dana's dick but forcing their audience to suck it for them.
JWM- April 9, 2011 at 2:55 am
"Collective boycott" yeah and let's All not buy gas one day collectively too. It's easy to forget that although we are aware of this 99% of those who buy the PPV's only know who Dana s because of TUF and wouldn't know who these reporters are from Adam and Eve. Hell I don't even actually know who these people are and I have followed CP for years. So the average fan is oblivious to all of this drama.
stopdrinkingpee- April 9, 2011 at 2:27 am
BG, I appreciate your response, but I was joking. I don't really think you can get credentialed by changing your name and trying to fool the UFC.

I do think it would be a tremendous show of loyalty to your readers to hold a contest where you let us rename you.

It's too bad we already have a Turd Furgeson.
SnackDaddy- April 8, 2011 at 11:34 pm
wow! can danna white get any more douchy? he's acting like a total bully here. i think a collective boycott is in order. not getting coverage by some big media sources would surely hurt his ratings and get him to rethink his stance. in retrospect, i think strikeforce selling to ufc was the worst thing that could have happen to the sport.
guess it sucks to be a caged potato... :(
dranokills- April 8, 2011 at 11:08 pm
bgoldstein Says:

Fri, 04/08/11 - 05:20

@ intercept, stopdrinkingpee :

I have no interest in getting credentialed, if it means we have to suck up to the UFC and avoid writing anything that might hurt their feelings. That ship has sailed, and I can live with that.

Here’s the unintended consequence of shutting out veteran reporters like Josh and Loretta: They have a ton of inside information, and they can publish some devastating shit now that they have no incentive to be nice.

wow I cant believe I'm gonna do this, BUT ben, and my good friend FBF I completely DISagree with you both.
#1 these 3 that are blocked are nothing in the big picture, and they cant do a single thing to dana or the UFC, there will be NO devastating shit, there will be NOTHING from them or the company they work for, that is just the reality of it.
#2 Ben, for the first time ever you come off sounding like an amateur writer with a piss poor attitude, and very little integrity or sense of responsibility for what happened with those pictures, cause in the end its YOUR site, and you allowed it, so you are now paying for it. Instead of being a man and behind the scenes working it out professionally, you are here among us talking shit to NO avail, and looking just like the douche dana said you are for this. I am ashamed of you, I would expect it from Mruss, hes a complete loser jerkoff, but you? wow I can't begin to understand this from you. you don't need credentials? you don't care? that ship has sailed? I guess so has your website.
#3 My best buddy FBF, you have a way with words, and I love ya bro, but it's not funny, it's not a joke and you don't have to like Dana white bro, I can see you don't but the facts are everyone who is cock blocked by White earned it. period.

If I happen to never post again ya'll it's because I got banned. and unlike Ben or anyone else, I fully except my punishment for speaking the truth. we will see. I bet I could get media credentials to this event however if I wanted em, which is gonna be more than I can say for 4 people...just saying.
Mike Russell- April 8, 2011 at 10:27 pm
Former M-1 Global publicist-turned Bellator matchmaker Sam Caplan? Yes. One in the same. As far as I remember though, I don't think he ever wrote for CBS Sports. I think they just had a content-sharing agreement with fiveouncesofpain.
fatbellyfrank- April 8, 2011 at 10:22 pm
Okay Guys, Jorge Rivera has a song he wants us all to sing with him " Dana is a dick dick dick dick dick dick dick dick dick dick dick dick dick, Dana is aaaa Diiiiiiick, dick dick dick dick dick dick dick
RwilsonR- April 8, 2011 at 10:17 pm
Is this the same CBS Sports that employed Sam Caplan as their head MMA reporter when he also ran the ProElite website, and later was on the board of WAMMA, yet claimed no conflict of interest when he would constantly bash the UFC and overrate non-UFC fighters?
newotnek- April 8, 2011 at 9:44 pm
Fags are gay
munche- April 8, 2011 at 8:59 pm
1) Does anyone really give a shit about Gross or Hunt? Who here actually reads any of their shit?
2) Why do the same journalists who bitch that you can't see from cageside, and that judges need monitors, bitch when they don't get a free pass to the event? If you can see better from the TV feed, why not cover the TV feed?
3) Since when was Sherdog relevant outside of the Fight Finder and having a forum acting as an example of "what not to be like" for an MMA fan?
Shatski- April 8, 2011 at 8:54 pm
It's a pretty shitty situation. Not only is is bullshit to blockout those that Zuffa, or particularly White, don't like, it is an effort to change the way their company will be seen in the future. I am interested in history and going by that, I believe that history should be recorded and reported how it happened, not how you wish it to have happened. For someone who loves to drop the F Bomb all the time, White is doing his fair share of censorship.

Also, by reading the transcript of the video, all anyone would miss out on is the dude emphasizing everything he says by waving his arm. Chill the hell out, man, and just say the shit.
Chiggs- April 8, 2011 at 8:48 pm
Just another reason to despise Dana the douchbag White. Saying it forever, he's as bad, if not worse for the Sport, then he is good, or can be. For every single good thing he seems to accomplish, he does like, 2 shitty, retarded things. What really sucks, is the position Coker has to be in, Coker seems like a decent dude who's getting shat on repeatedly. Would MUCH rather see Coker be the one to Grow MMA an be the Face/Spokesperson.
All in all, really hope that the rest of the media, or majority at least puts Dana on blast, let the shit hit the fan...
just some dong- April 8, 2011 at 8:42 pm
Anonymous sources really are total fucking cocksuckers tho. I think that's all Dana meant.
Nintendong- April 8, 2011 at 7:59 pm
"Here’s the unintended consequence of shutting out veteran reporters like Josh and Loretta: They have a ton of inside information, and they can publish some devastating shit now that they have no incentive to be nice."

No offense Ben, but you really contradicted yourself there. One sentence you don't want to "suck up" to the UFC then talk about having incentives to be nice.

I am tired of people having no accountability for what they say or print or do. It sickens me. Loretta Hunt has always made her way on publishing sensationalist articles, since way back when she started on The "anonymous" source card is total bullshit too, stop defending weak journalistic tactics as if they are some moral necessity.

Josh Gross (even though I am a fan) has always gone out of his way to call Dana to task for even the smallest transgression. I can see why Dana and Co. would get pissy about that.

I am sure the have so many "horrible" things they could publish. I doubt it.

If these "professional" sports writers and media outlets want to cover the event they can buy a ticket, just like the small town newspapers do when UFC comes around.