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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  • as long as bleacher report keeps their ring side seats, I am a happy camper

  • Mark

    Not to mention the fact that – HELLO! – Bas Rutten is a former UFC Heavyweight Champion!

  • Zombie killer

    Probably because Dana ” The Nazi” White can not control HDNET. Just look at the mma section is called UFC.

  • Mamba

    Dana White is slowing turning the UFC into what boxing has become. A lot of show with no substance. HDNET would do some honest reporting and it’s not what Dana White wants. It’s a big surprise that the Fertitta’s don’t step in and take control. After all they do own the UFC.

  • dark knight

    @Mamba – you hit the nail on the head. UFC is becoming a combo of pro boxing and the WWE. All glitz and glam. Remember the days when UFC fights were on a handfull of times a year. Not two or sometimes three times a month. At $49.99 per pay per view Dana White is slowing draining his fans of the hard earned money, and keeping out credentialed reporters and shows like Inside MMA. Dana White is a money hungry whore who will is selling out the sport for fame and fortune.

  • We strongly urge Zuffa, LLC to recognize honest balanced reporting (and the freedom of the press) and allow as many media groups as possible to cover their events. Threats to ban the Fedor shirt and Inside MMA staff ruins your credibility. We get it Dana you had a dispute with M-1 with Fedor fighting in the UFC but being emotional and threatening anyone who does not follow your will looks pathetic to fans of the UFC (like us) since 1993. The Gracie family who started the UFC embraced competition to show their jiu-jitsu could be superior for many practitioners. Why not challenge the best from other competitions and have the best fighter win on neutral territory. The champs from the UFC and WEC vs Strikeforce, Dream, Bellator would sell more tickets and avoid costly litigation.
    Bas Rutten is a global MMA legend for long-term MMA fans like us. Controlling the content of the reporting to only portray the UFC in the best possible light even if not true will be damaging and turn the UFC into a fake WWE. That is advertizing not honest balanced reporting. Sounds akin to the Chinese Communist Party’s ban on any media reporting on Tibet does it not? If you want to portray the UFC as the best MMA competition and avoid an anti-trust lawsuit in the future, stop acting like a near-monopolistic insecure jerk. Start embracing the global promotion of the best sport in the world.

    As a fellow MMA practitioner and/or fan can you help promote this petition to allow MMA as a global sport? We will present it to gov’t officials.

  • Josh

    I love many of the UFC fighters but I havent watched their show since paying for the GSP – Hardy PPV. @dark knight is totally correct. I have stopped paying $50 a show for shows that half the time arent very good. I tons of high quality MMA thanks to FSN HDNet and Showtime. Dana needs to realize not everyone thinks that the UFC is MMA. He is slowly turning himself into the Don King of mixed martial arts.

  • Matt Sherwood

    This is funny to me. I sent an email to Mark 2 weeks ago in an effort to discuss somethings about the Fight Club and his network. Mark never responded to us. Karma?

  • scottyox

    You guys are all haters. Sure Dana White should allow Inside MMA press coverage. That does not make him a “Don King”.he has done more for the sport than any other person alive. If you don’t think UFC is MMA you need to get your heads checked. Also Dana White is not Draining his fans. If you can’t afford the fights you should find some friends to pitch in with. Seriously people stop hating!

  • If I was Zuffa I wouldn’t give Cuban jack shit. Did everyone already forget the cluster fuck that went down with Couture a few years back? Cuban was in bed with Affliction, Golden Boy and Trump and was THE key player in taking Zuffa to court over the status of Randy’s contract.

    If I was Zuffa I wouldn’t give them the time of day.

  • JP

    “If you don’t think UFC is MMA you need to get your heads checked.”

    I LOL’D

    UFC was mediocre compared to pride until like 4 years ago. There also dream and sengoku which are awesome promotions, not to mention SF and the extinct IFL.

    You need to lurk moar before posting, just sayin’

  • scottyox

    @JP Dude you know that UFC owns Pride right? I can’t argue that those other organizations are great for the sport but, UFC brought MMA into the mainstream. LOL’D that

  • scottyox

    another thing JP I lurk inside the MMA every week so I am tracking all the other fight orgs.UFC has the best cards the best champs and, has done waaaaaay more for the sport…

  • Bob’sadad

    Dana White has taken a small time organization that was perceived as brutal/barbaric by mainstream folks and made it into the 900 lb. gorilla of MMA. The Fertittas’ investment has been multiplied many, many times over. UFC takes in more PPV money than boxing and keeps the money in UFC’s vaults (and Dana’s wallet!). Mr. White has applied constant, sometimes brutally overwhelming leverage, as needed to maintain UFC’s dominant position, produce profit and protect the franchise. The smaller satellite players in MMA may resent his tactics and success (akin to Microsoft/Gates haters in techland) but who can truly deny the success of UFC? Dana’s drive and leadership has produced profits, recognition for MMA, profits, opportunities for fighters, profits, and more profits. It’s a beautiful American capitalistic success and I love hookers, expense reports and apple pie.

    All that being said, I sure would love to see Bas cover UFC events but Dana probl’y has a bone with Cuban over something real or imagined. Put those two in a locked room and someones gonna leave with a lighter wallet and a bruised ego. UFC doesn’t need Inside MMA to achieve the growth plans mapped out in Europe, Asia, South America. Hard core fans may love the show (I do!) but we gotta recognize the UFC is after a much broader demographic. Given UFC’s phenominal success I doubt we will see a change in tactics. If it ain’t broke why fix it?

  • BunsenBurners

    Apparently Mark Cuban is even a Zuffa bond holder which makes it even more peculiar.

  • captain_USA

    why would dana white help out hdnet?
    mark cuban has tried to take chunk out of UFC by promoting his own MMA events in the past.let’s not kid ourselves.

    mark cuban is the one who doesn’t give a shit about MMA.he’s only interested in MMA because he sees huge potential in making money.seriously where was mark cuban when UFC/MMA was almost dead in 90s?
    folks, mark cuban has his own agenda.that is to take advantage of popularity of UFC to ultimately create his own MMA organization and dana white knows this.

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  • Angel

    I became interested in MMA beacause of inside MMA and HDnet, as a PR guy I didn’t like Dana White, so before HDnet i did not give a shit about UFC.

  • Choop

    He’s obviously denying them credentials because they were going to promote a Fedor vs Randy fight. You’re forgetting that a couple of years ago HDNet were considered UFC competition.

    They were trying to steal Randy and promote a huuuuge fight with him. Why on earth would you give them UFC highlights and credentials to get them better business?

    That’s probably changed now. They’re probably not a threat to the UFC. But what’s with your short memories?

  • Inside MMA tried to promote a fight with Randy and Fedor? Wow that is news to me. That’s like saying Rupert Murdoch tried to buy the tv rights to premiere league, so La Liga bans reporters from Fox News and the Wall Street Journal.

  • It was Affliction with Randy and Fedor Choop and I it wasn’t going to be shown on HDNet. So back to the point of the article… there really is no good reason they shouldn’t be given credentials when you have websites such as BLEACHER REPORT being granted credentials. Everytime I hear one of their people ask a question at a UFC press conference it reminds me of these strange policies the UFC holds toward credentialing. Anyone at all can become a writer at Bleacher Report, just go sign up and start writing and if the UFC comes to your town, you can probably get a press credential to go for free. But Inside MMA who’s sole purpose is MMA and they report on every single UFC event, can’t get credentialed, it’s pretty ridiculous.

  • Well Jack, Cuban did tried to get an injuction so Randy would be free of his UFC contract, but I am with you 100%

  • HDNet was showing Affliction’s undercards if I remember correctly so yeah Cuban did have some involvement and interest there.

  • scottyox

    hahaha I told y’all it was a matter of time hope you watched the show tonight Dana White knows inside MMA is the shit.

  • what happened i havent seen it yet? i know rogan and cuban were on.

  • scottyox

    inside MMA will be at all future UFC functions