- FANS SOUNDOFF ABOUT MEDIA BAN

October 3, 2005
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Soundoff Forum
You’ve read the press release on the main page today. How do the fans feel about the UFC Media ban? Read for yourself. For the record, we scrolled through three pages of comments and for whatever reason there was not one, once again, not one post with the opposing view. This may be the first time in the forum history that every single post went one way on this issue. These are just some of the comments you have made….

“I am a solider in the middle east and the only way for me to really get the heads up on all mma events is throught the internet forums and for the UFC to do this really makes me angry to me thats saying forget about all the guys who are oversea’s and forget about all those who cant get to a TV that night to watch the event I am seriously thinking about never ever ordering a UFC even when I get back to the states.”

SPC Joseph
From-Oxnard Cali

“Not only did the UFC survive by the internet in it’s dark days, but it is thriving by the internet now. Where do you think the 18-34 year old demographic that watches TUF go to get more coverage? That is why MMA sites like MMAWeekly.com, sherdog.com, fcfighter.com, etc have been experiencing such high volumes of traffic in the last year. The younger generation or “inernet generation” are the ones that are going to bring MMA into the mainstream. Not only does it not make good business sense for the UFC not to grant the reputable MMA websites press credentials, but it shows a lack of loyalty to these sites and ultimately to it’s fans.”

Peter Parsons
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

“It needed to be done but some good people are going to get screwed in the long run. For this sport to be looked at as any other pro sport such as baseball or what not, everything about it (right down to the people in the press row) have to be professionals. I just hope that when it all settles MMAWeekly and Ryan Bennett do get the press credential back.”

Scotty – Milton, WV

“I am very disappointed at the situation that is occurring between the UFC and the MMA press. Frankly I cannot see why a business would want to alienate a very important business that provides an extremely valuable service to its customers.

I understand that the UFC may need to evaluate the credentials it passes out to media. I understand that the UFC may want limit the number of credentials given out. I understand that the UFC may not want certain entities to report on the UFC. These things are business decisions. However, I do not understand why the UFC would want to hurt its fans. That is what this media blackout is doing. Not only are you hurting the MMA press, you are hurting your public.

I first got into MMA years ago when I saw Royce Gracie fight on TV. Then I did not see MMA for years. A couple of years ago I rented a PPV while on a business trip and got interested in the sport all over again. To get more information I went to the web. Sites like Sherdog, Full Contact Fighter, MMA Weekly and others provided the quality information that I was graving. I am particularly hooked on the statistics I find on Sherdog and the articles and daily Radio show on MMA Weekly. These two publications get me excited every week for your TUF show and the PPVs. Their interviews humanize the athletes and make the fan more interested. The coverage of weigh-ins and news conferences fill a gap that the mainstream press does not. You need this as MMA goes mainstream.

I am not going to say that I will boycott the UFC. But these publications provide information and generate excitement that sells the UFC and PPV. Without them, people like me might not be as excited and forget about upcoming shows. Someone once said that all press is good press. I will take it a step further, an absence of press is bad press.

Please think deeply about this situation and the fans that your are hurting.

Paul Kolenda

“Sounds like a case of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Somehow I don’t think the guys at SportsCenter are going to be clamouring for all the newly available press passes, so where am I going to hear about the event? Who cares if a slightly unwashed 20-something with a hangover is asking all the tough questions at the press conferences?

Bad move Dana. I feel I owe more loyalty to these websites that have fully educated and continually informed me on the subject of mixed martial arts. And as such I will not order your Pay Per View this weekend.

I’m glad I haven’t had time to watch Bushido yet.”

Jason
Cleveland

“I don’t really know what else to say but this really really sucks. Some of my favorite things about UFC ppv’s are the live from UFC __ threads where we get to see behind the scenes photos/stories. It feels like a slap in the face to the hardcore MMA fan. They should know how much we care about our favorite mma sites! I’m surprized MMAweekly got screwed over especially since Dana has been on the radio show before, I don’t get it.”

Shayne
Ottawa Canada

“Just wanted to point out that I will not order a UFC event from this point on. I used to only order UFC events because of MMAweekly.com.

I have been a Pride fan since I was into watching MMA events on TV , since 3 – 4 years now when i first started to watch MMA and i have always studied different Martial Arts since i was 14 year old and i’m now 24 years old and i have studied Tae Known Doe, Capoeira, Brazilin Jiu Jitsu, and Kick Boxing. I never liked UFC, from there Cage to there elbow rules. I only was turned to watch UFC because of MMAweekly.com , to watch Frank Trigg, and because of MMAweekly.com’s interviews and etc….

I believe MMAweekly.com should talk to Pride and see if MMAweekly.com can actually get more involved with Pride and get as close to Pride as MMAweekly.com was to UFC.
UFC is getting a big head because of how good they are doing in the USA. I Honestly believe Pride to be 100 times better org. than UFC. All UFC is doing now is screwing the Fan’s!

I love MMA because I believe it to be a Sport and I support the Sport of MMA but I will no longer Support UFC the Event!”

-Fernando
Los Angeles, California

I think this media ban sucks. First of all, tonight is Ultimate Fight Night, and I was looking forward to discussing the fights and knowing a little bit about the fighters involved and general information on the event. I really think this media ban is hurting the UFC because its downplaying its own product and show. I feel less inclined to watch the show tonight because of the lack of coverage on the event. I haven’t seen any advertisements on Spike TV for Ultimate Fight Night except for maybe during TUF show.

I think if they are hurting their own product by this media ban. I also think its a slap in the face to Ryan Bennett and all the other MMA sites that have covered the UFC during its darkest days until now. I think its bullshit, and I can’t blame Dana White for not discussing on this matter because he’s a tool. He should go back to doing tap dance classes or whatever the fuck he was doing before. Let the media cover the product and leave it at that.

Therefore, I am NOT ordering UFC 55.

My .02 cents,

Alan
Toronto, Canada

The media ban is a horrible idea. The internet media generates excitment for UFC events and tells the stories of fighters who fight in them. The UFC does a God aweful job of promoting new talent, often I wouldn’t know who a fighter was unless I read about him on the internet. Who wants to see a fight between people you’ve never heard of? The fighters are the brand in the UFC, just like a team is a brand in any other sport and is anyone going to watch football game, for exmple, if you’ve never heard of either team and don’t care which one wins? The internet media prmotes the UFC’s brand, the fighters, why the hell does the UFC want to stop free prmotion of their fighters? It’s beyond my understanding I guess.

This treatment of the internet media disgusts me, I was planning on ordering UFC 55 but now I will not support the UFC anymore, I do not plan on ordering any UFC events in the near future.

Mike Pacheco
Toronto, Canada

I wanted to chime in with an opinion from someone who’s very new to the sport of MMA. I saw my first taped UFC event on INHD approximately 9 months ago and was completely hooked from that first viewing. I was aware of what UFC was but had no clue it was a legit sport like professional boxing. And as the final bout between Ken Shamrock and Kimo played out I was just thoroughly entertained and impressed by the presentation.

I’ve bought every UFC Pay-Per-View event and UFC DVD since (UFC 52). The sport has become just as important to me as NFL Football. My initial reactions to the UFC are what spawned my enthusiasm for MMA.

On the flip side, the website MMAWeekly is the resource that has given me better insight into MMA. Pay Per Views can not give you the kind of knowledge that a website like MMAWeekly offers. This knowledge is what makes me want to purchase the latest Pay Per Views and it’s the only outlet (MMA news websites) for thorough information on the sport.

Case in point, Pride’s Bushido Tournament. On paper it’s not necessarily something I’d order. I’ve become more aware of Pride and it’s fighters in the past few months while listening to the MMAWeekly radio show. The excitement surrounding this tournament and the strength of the card created a lot of discussion among the hosts (Ryan Bennett and Frank Trigg), interviewed fighters (Yves Edwards and Phil Baroni both called in at points), and MMA fans who typically call into the show. It was knowledge and information gathered from this website that made this Bushido Tournament my first Pride Pay Per View event purchase.

It is not a given that I’m going to buy every Pay Per View event televised by the various Fighting Organizations. I say this because the upcoming UFC 55 Event seems really weak to me. Although somewhat new to the sport I do feel that I have a good general knowledge of MMA fighters. However, I do not know who Ron Faircloth is. I don’t know who Alessio Sakara is. I don’t know who Elvis Sinosic is. The only thing I know about Dennis Hallman is that Frank Trigg beat him a few times. Maybe these individuals are amazing and exciting up-and-coming fighting? I don’t know. I have no clue.

How can I get pumped up and excited for fights that have no context? 55 will be the first UFC Pay Per View event I do not purchase. I believe the reason is because of lack of information and interest. The card doesn’t have Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture, Rich Franklin, or Matt Hughes (or other familiar names like Ivan Salaverry, Phil Baroni, Frank Trigg, Tito Ortiz, or Evan Tanner). I’m not hearing or reading about these other fighters so there is absolutely nothing to get excited about. UFC 55 looks like a bad King of the Cage card at this point (the only difference being that I recognize more names on a typical KOTC card than I do this UFC 55 card).

I’ve seen the sport of MMA grow considerably in the short period of time I’ve been watching (nine months or so). I don’t really know why the UFC would cut off recognizable fighters and choke off all information to the fans. I hope that in time these recent mistakes will be corrected.

Just my two cents,
Jay Graham
New Jersey

ZUFFA / Dana:
I work and live here in Las Vegas I love the UFC, it introduced me to MMA. I go to every weigh-in and as many shows as my wife can stand. I watch every PPV and live show that I can. Fact is this is what I do when I am not working this is my Sport. The coverage that sites like MMA Weekly and others like SHERDOG are so valuable to your customers its where we go to get our information our daily dose. This sport is different than boxing, football or baseball; it’s the intimacy that the fan has with the fighters. These guys are approachable and we get to meet and hear them up-close through these sites. We roll with them in the gym and then listen to them on the internet. This sport is driven through the internet too the customer on more levels than we know. To cut off this sports most avid fans from the intimacy that these sites provide today is wrong. I can understand not allowing a free for all on credentials but not allowing the legitimate sites who support and promote your product to the end user for free is something that you should reconsider. I have worked for Showtime, HBO and ESPN on PPV productions and yes only legit press deserve credentials and so it must be. As a business owner and manager adjustments are made from time to time in order to keep up but I think this is a bad move and I hope it will be rectified. These people sell and legitimize your product every day don’t penalize them for sticking with you. We the fans are the only ones you are hurting.

Sincerely

Bill Perna
Las Vegas NV.

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