In another attempt to control its message and intimidate another reporter, UFC apparently has sent a letter threatening action against Flo Combat’s Jeremy Botter. Over the past several days, Botter has reported extensively about the sale of UFC.

As soon as Botter tweeted that UFC had accepted a bid, the company sent out public and internal denials denying a sale had taken place. An internal memo to employees as obtained by MMAJunkie said the sale report was false and went on to threaten legal action against the reports:

“Such misrepresentation of facts in the media negatively impacts our business, staff members and athletes. We have instructed our attorneys to investigate and take all appropriate legal actions against the parties publishing and contributing to these false stories.”

In addition, Botter said he had received a letter from UFC:

So by threatening legal action, this is a way for UFC to intimidate reporters from doing their jobs. We’ve seen it with Ariel Helwani when UFC banned him for life and subsequently rescinded it. But as UFC gets bigger, it’s tough for them to keep things all to themselves. Reporters report and when news breaks, it’s their job to bring it to the public. By using intimidation and legal threats, UFC makes itself look like it’s trying to hide something.

Yes, employees should be the first to know about a potential sale, but with a company that is in the public eye as much as UFC, it has to expect that reporters will sniff out news and attempt to break it. Banning, threatening and intimidating does nothing to help its image. The intimidation only shows that it’s trying to bully the media and it opens itself up to even further scrutiny.

Botter is doing his job by cultivating sources and reporting on the UFC sale. And while the company can continue to deny which is its right, it has to realize that that intimidation is not the way to conduct business.

Overall, UFC’s recent dealings with the media have shown that it’s thin-skinned and a massive bully.

[Larry Brown Sports]

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

Comments are closed.