MMAJA issues statement regarding UFC 231 media event

December 6, 2018

The Mixed Martial Arts Journalists Association has issued a statement in light of the uproar over the lack of questions related to Greg Hardy at yesterday’s UFC 231 Press Conference.

The statement reads:

After reports from media on site today at the UFC 231 press conference, the MMAJA is looking into a situation in which reporters felt they were unable to freely ask questions.

MMAJA has been in touch with UFC PR, which said their intention was for reporters to focus their questions on Saturday’s card and away from other topics.

UFC said they did not direct the media to avoid specific subjects, but that was the impression felt by several MMAJA members credentialed for the event.

Given the miscommunication MMAJA is seeking to secure a remedy with the UFC.

Any journalist covering a mixed martial arts event, whether they are a member of MMAJA or not, should be able to ask relevant questions during public media events, particularly regarding newsworthy items.

Though the media on-site followed UFC’s message, which was issued moments before the start of the press conference, MMAJA wants to make it clear that any media member would have been well within their rights to do otherwise.

This organization exists to help working journalists in the MMA space. Fundamental to that is ensuring access to the subjects they have been assigned to cover.

We trust the UFC understands that facilitating the work of reporters is a much better option than restricting the work of reporters, and will take care to express its intentions to the MMA media with this in mind.

The statement drew differing responses from MMA fans and other media.  In the end, it is still the job of journalists to ask the questions regardless.  Granted, this is difficult when a part of being a journalist (which many forget) is cultivating relationships to ensure that you get your job done.  It’s clear that the UFC influenced the questions to be asked but did not necessarily forbid it.  There would have been consequences to it if someone had asked a Greg Hardy question.

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