Loretta commented on not getting credentialed for the UFC San Diego event.
“Did it hurt me? Yeah, sure. That was my first assignment for CBS Sports. I worked with one of the producers over there who does the NFL and also had done MMA in the past. His name is Denny Burkholder, he’s a big fan of Mixed Martial Arts. CBS Sports, I’m told, hasn’t really covered MMA for the last year or so for various reasons I’m told because they’ve had some difficulty with getting interviews and things like that in the past, so they kind of cooled off from it and then they were coming back in, this was the first show that they were going to do in quite some time. They brought me in, assigned me, and then we were turned down.
"So, CBS Sports decided that they just weren’t going to do any coverage at all of the UFC. They don’t want to be told who they can send to their events and who they shouldn’t send to their events representing them.
“Yeah, I mean that I’m sad this door closed. I mean, a door really did close. CBS Sports is not going to look at MMA for at least a little while.”
“ I don’t want to speak out of turn. I just, I had some conversation with CBS Sports a little bit. They just haven’t really covered Mixed Martial Arts so much because, uh, you know, because like I said I don’t want to speak out of turn but I definitely got the indication that, you know, when they were running the Elite XC events on CBS which was a competitor (to the UFC), you know, I think some of the access that they wanted to get in interviewing certain people and stuff was difficult for them. They felt some kind of restriction, so they kind of backed away from it and this was them kind of dipping their toe back in the water again and, you know, something like this happens again and it just reinforces, you know, the UFC and their take on the Mixed Martial Arts media and them trying to decide, you know, who they want to sent and who they don’t want to send.
"And… you know, there’s no… there’s no secret that, uh… there’s some kind of vendetta against me. You know, I’m not welcome at the UFC shows, I haven’t been for some time. I’ve been in and out of this media ban since October 2005 when I started. You know, I’m obviously not welcome at the events probably for any outlet that I work for. You know, I’m with Sports Illustrated now and still if I apply for a credential with SI I’m not going to be allowed in either.
“But, you know, the bigger picture here is, it’s not just about me, there’s other people involved, too. There’s other media that’s not allowed in. It’s the UFC’s decision that they’re going to do this because, from everything I’ve been told, this doesn’t happen in other sports. Journalists are granted credentials if they work for a reliable media outlet and, you know, are responsible reporters. I don’t think it’s been proven that any of us on this banned/restricted list were ever irresponsible in our reporting, we haven’t been. So, you know, that’s the bigger picture with the media ban for people are kind of stepping into this and seeing this for the first time.”
“(Zuffa) wants to move into being a mainstream sport and a mainstream league at this point, like I don’t think that’s there any argument that UFC is now the league of our sport, right? The thing that we didn’t think would happen but it happened and, you know, I gladly I can admit that and say that about this sport. If they want to be like all the other leagues, you know, the NBA like you know barring whatever Mark Cuban is considering*, the NFL, all these other guys they don’t restrict the media and I bet you they don’t like the media that comes through because they are probably a lot more critical in other sports than the hardest critics are in Mixed Martial Arts. So, what’s happening is extraordinary and makes us seem kind of hokey, you know, Mixed Martial Arts compared to all the other sports. What other big promotion do you know that doesn’t let the media in?”
*In a CNN.com video interview, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said that he did not want to enable internet reporters addiction to writing what he doesn't believe is real journalism. "Look I'm not denying them the chance to do their business. They have every right and opportunity to do that. But I don't have to condone that. I don't have to support it. I don't have to enable it. I don't want to hand the heroin junkie the needle and, in this particular case, giving them locker room access is pretty much the same thing."
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