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L.A. Times Takes Aim at UFC Media Policies

(They don’t make ‘em like this anymore.)

It’s no secret that the UFC loves controlling stuff, especially if that stuff has to do with the media. The L.A. Times has apparently had enough of it. Their Las Vegas blog, The Movable Buffet (get it?), took issue with the UFC’s strict rules following UFC 84 this weekend:

One local journalist who covered Saturday’s Ultimate Fighting Championship card at MGM’s Grand Garden Arena wrote me an e-mail, offering this impression: “UFC attempts to be more controlling than other sports. UFC sounds like it’s trying to hem in media.”

We were discussing his experience as well as the credential application that UFC demanded that I sign to be approved to cover the fight. The application specified everything from the trivial, forbidding my wearing certain clothes, to the ridiculous, controlling where and when I was allowed to write about the event forever more. In explaining this bizarre credential application that most would call not an application but a contract, UFC events manager Diann Brizzolara wrote me: “We have the right to protect our brand and how coverage taken from our events is disseminated.” Actually, UFC does not have that right to control “how coverage taken…is disseminated” at all. This rather unique privilege in fact is what the credential application is trying to give them a back door claim to having.

When you hear these stories about the UFC’s obsession with control, it makes you wonder what they’re so afraid of. Is it a holdover from the dark days when the “human cockfighting” label nearly drove them into extinction? Or is it just that the UFC is leery of the media in general, despite the fact that they need the media in the same way every pro sports organization does: it’s free advertising.

Whatever the cause, their media-phobia has certainly made an enemy of the L.A. Times’ Movable Buffet, which even goes so far as to predict impending doom for the UFC.

And, of course, network fights on CBS are likely to get many more viewers than pay-for-view and cable fights. That would begin to make UFC obsolete even as it approaches mainstream status. When I first wrote about a UFC fight in 2006 that league was bringing unprecedented attention to mixed martial arts. But maybe now it is time for the next big sensation. I wonder if EliteXC requires select press to sign a credential application?

As a matter of fact, they don’t. Will that be enough to put them out in front of the UFC? I kind of doubt it.


Cagepotato Comments

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Anonymous- May 28, 2008 at 6:29 pm
damn I use to love playing paperboy

that's all i got to say
shane- May 28, 2008 at 5:14 pm
...AND fuck Las Angeles, aenema
shane- May 28, 2008 at 5:13 pm
fuck the media, the ufc has got where it is mostly without media coverage. i hope true ufc fans will stick with the ufc and not jump on the bandwagon with cbs. Big networks don;t care about mma they just see money in it because of the ufc's success.
andres- May 28, 2008 at 6:01 am
Haha hilarious I wonder if in 10 years my kids will know what the ufc was hope so can't have them running around saying kimbo! Kimbo!
Rather have them yelling WANDERLEI CHUCK VERA
Trigg man u should have fought for dream!
NealTaflinger- May 28, 2008 at 5:44 am
Also, having worked with the UFC a couple times on stories I'd have to say that once they trust that you A) know what you're talking about and B) aren't a shithead, they are super easy to work with.
NealTaflinger- May 28, 2008 at 5:43 am
Not that uncommon. NASCAR and the NFL are notoriously difficult to work with.
Boneman = Tito Ortiz- May 28, 2008 at 2:53 am
Shut the fuck up Tito, and stop trollin other threads with your little beef.
Boneman- May 28, 2008 at 1:41 am
Hey Toner-Breath......

Hmmmm.....Seems I'm not the only one that thinks Dana White is an ASS..!
jhaas- May 28, 2008 at 1:10 am
The la times sucks anyways, the writer probably never played a sport in his life. Everybodys jumping on the ufc hater ban-wagon,and the writers at the la times hate anything manly anyways.
FRANK TRIGG- May 28, 2008 at 12:46 am
This is how it should have been in the "dark" days. Now the UFC needs as much free coverage as they can get with the brand new push of elite XC on CBS. Will they be the true rivals? I doubt it but it will open the door for the promotion that will be.
MarleyMarl- May 28, 2008 at 12:22 am
Hmm EliteXC is tacky enough that it will probably get bit of a fan base after the CBS event.
theholyjanitor- May 27, 2008 at 11:47 pm
name one sport/blogger that has gotten media passes to events?
major events, and sports, not those small mom and pop shows
BigBob- May 27, 2008 at 11:16 pm
Glad you brought this to light. Once again, UFC punches themselves in the mouth. Few probably realize that they won't work with any of the MMA blogs or web sites, including I'm assuming CagePotato. Dana White, wake the fuck up! This is where the real fans are. Your base. You lose them; you lose everything.
bfowlkes- May 27, 2008 at 11:13 pm
Hemingway wrote a memoir called "A Moveable Feast" about his youth in Paris. This guy's a writer based in Vegas, where buffet specials are popular. Hence, Moveable Buffet.
Jake- May 27, 2008 at 10:51 pm
Moveable Buffet? Actually, I don't get it. Somebody explain!!