Mark Cuban questions Dana White about denying Inside MMA press credentials

Who couldn't love these two beacons of fairness?

On the afternoon of Saturday, Aug. 7, just a few hours before the UFC 117 opening bell, HDNet chairman Mark Cuban sent the following tweet to UFC President Dana White:

@danawhite You let half ass media that dont give a shit about MMA cover the UFC, but you wont let Inside MMA w/ Bas, Kenny, Guy in, why?

It’s an honest and I believe sincere question. Those who have covered a UFC event live have undoubtedly noticed some of the most peculiar media outlets granted press credentials. Questions are asked by reporters that clearly indicate they were sent there on assignment because UFC has come to town and they or their publication haven’t the first clue what it’s all about.

It’s understandable why the UFC would grant local newspapers and television stations credentials. It helps educate the people and it also helps sell tickets. However, a lot of these local media publications are there because they have to be and once the UFC has left town, their MMA coverage stops. In fact, they have no real MMA coverage, it’s just UFC coverage.

Cuban’s question seems to be, if you (Dana White) are going to allow these guys who could care less about the sport get credentialed, why not also credential someone totally devoted to the sport like Inside MMA, who is part of a television network who has done so much for MMA, HDNet?

What good reason would the UFC have for denying credentials to the longest running MMA news program on television?

I have personally watched the majority of Inside MMA episodes since their first broadcast in Sept. 2007 and there is no way anyone can say the show is not UFC friendly, or anti-UFC in any way. In fact, they regularly have UFC fighters on the show as guests to talk about their fights.

Now, they did used to remark that Fedor Emelianenko was the number one heavyweight in the world. However, if the UFC denied access to any media outlet who ever made that claim, it’s doubtful anyone would have credentials, save Kevin Iole (that’s a joke – I love Kevin).

Is it because HDNet used to promote fights? That doesn’t seem to make sense. Is it because they broadcast other fight promotions on their television station such as King of the Cage, XFC, Sengoku and Dream? That would seem pretty silly since no one would accuse any of those organizations as being competition for the UFC.

If anything, those organizations are feeder shows and promotions that help provide careers for fighters once they leave the UFC, but it could hardly be said their operations have any negative effect upon what the UFC does at all.

Right or wrong, truthfully or untruthfully, Dana White has long been accused of blacklisting those media outlets that don’t report UFC news the way he thinks it should be reported. It’s situations like this that continue to shed a negative light on the UFC’s relationship with the media.

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