Before I began covering MMA, I started off competing in the sport. Because of my personality, I was given an opportunity by TheCageDoor.net (RIP) to express myself so to speak, and I will forever be grateful. From there, I was able to grow into what you see today with the blogs, articles, etc.
The first promotion I fought for, and the first promotion I ever covered was Legacy Fighting Championship (formerly Lonestar Beatdown). I have seen Legacy grow from putting on shows in bars, to venues that seat thousands of fans. And with that growth, has come larger media outlets covering Legacy’s events. Although very close with Mick (we like punching each other in the face), when I report on an event, I remain unbiased in my coverage, as a media outlet should be.
Legacy has recently began putting on shows in other states, recently Oklahoma and New Mexico, and other states later in the year. There most recent event, Legacy 30, took place at the Route 66 Casino right outside of Albuquerque, NM. For the most part, the event itself seemed to be a success, outside of fighters missing weight by 10 or more pounds (Scott’d ’em). After the event though, there was one particular “journalist” who didn’t get to cover the event the way he saw fit. Apparently, Bryan Henderson of TheMMACorner.com, has a bad rep with Fresquez Productions. He decided to take out his frustration against Legacy FC by slandering the promotion and misleading people with opinions lead to be facts, that were simply untrue.
Without going into detail (you can find below), Henderson writes a shitty article, whining about how poor Legacy treated him, rather than cover the event he drove hours to cover. It seems he pouted in his seat all night. What he should have done was contact Mick directly to figure out a solution to the problem; he decided to contact him after the article was written.
Once the article had made its rounds, the damage had been done, to Henderson. Mick decided to spend time with his family before responding to the slanderous article with facts. He broke down the entire article and dispelled everything that was said. I will post the transcript below.
People like Bryan Henderson give journalist a bad name. It only takes common sense to get an issue so minor resolved. But I guess common sense is something Bryan Henderson is lacking. TheMMACorner claims to be a reputable site, well with people like this writing for you, I don’t know how long that will last. Mick Maynard said it best, Bryan needs to stick to his day job, whatever that may be… Oh, and stop being a whiny little bitch.
Mick’s response to Bryan Henderson’s article:
BH – ” I walked into the venue and started looking for anyone who appeared to be in charge. Press sections are different for each event. At a Jackson’s Series MMA show held in a similar venue at another casino, we were placed at tables directly against the cage, whereas the stage area was reserved for what I presumed to be VIP guests. When Bellator visits the area, the press sits at tables just outside the cageside barrier and immediately in front of the front row of the audience. Not knowing if the stage seats were for the press, I asked the first person who appeared to be in charge and was told to just hang around and wait.”
MM – The stage seats were VIP seats which is why people were drinking. Only the back row was for press. The seat you were given actually had a better view than press row that night. The people you saw cheering were fans and people who bought tickets to the event. You wouldn’t have even barely been able to see press row from your seat, if at all. Your site actually acknowledges this at the end of your blog. No one from Fresquez with any knowledge whatsoever would have told you this because it was Lenny Fresquez himself who labeled all of those seats. If you had taken time to reach out before you wrote this I would have told you that but I understand no one wants to ruin a good story with facts. That would have meant you spent an entire night pouting in vain.
BH – ” All of this took place before the fights started. The time on my phone indicated that Rich’s text came in at 6:15 p.m. Oddly, promotions outside of Bellator have a tradition here in New Mexico of waiting until 7 p.m. before sounding the opening bell for the first fight. So, with phone in hand, I waited. I waited as the first amateur fighters walked to the cage. I waited as they paced the cage for nearly 10 minutes in anticipation of the opening bell for their fight. I waited as I watched more amateur bouts take place”
MM – The commission would not allow us to start one single minute before 7 which for us was a first. If you thought this was odd each time a promotion in New Mexico did that maybe you could do research and look into it. It was a statute we were unaware of. Research is a tool often used in journalism.
BH – “As I sat there, I noticed something else. Those stage seats were indeed pretty full, but not a single laptop in sight. There was a waitress up there with a tray of cocktails. And the “press section”? Well, they were visibly cheering Holm as she battered and bloodied Werner en route to the win. As they cheered, I sat there wishing that I was in one of those seats, with my laptop open to cover the event as I had planned”
MM – Those stage seats were plenty full……… with fans, which is why they were cheering and drinking. They actually paid for that right. You could not have seen laptops primarily because you would have had difficulty seeing the press table at all. They were in the last row only. Interestingly though many outlets did cover the event from where they sat. If you didn’t see a single laptop it makes you wonder how they all managed. The people you saw cheering were not media, they were fans. Once again, research is your friend but the truth is you never wanted the truth. You sat there all night pouting in eager anticipation to get home and write a story about yourself and the “Dark side of MMA” – a lone mans battle to fend off spilling beer and nowhere to put his laptop……other than his lap……the struggle is real.
BH – “There’s an ugly side to covering MMA. It hasn’t reared its head too often in my time with The MMA Corner, or in my past stints with Sporting News or MMA DieHards. At The MMA Corner, we’ve had great relationships with a large number of promotions. Bellator MMA, Invicta Fighting Championships, World Series of Fighting and Resurrection Fighting Alliance—we’ve covered them all under press credentials and were welcomed with open arms. The same can be said for regional promotions like Cage FX in the New England area, Storm Damage MMA and BRACE in Australia and Colorado mainstay Fight to Win. We’ve also covered the biggest shows of all, Strikeforce and the UFC, under credentials. And the one time we did have a misunderstanding—with the XFC—it was rectified, as it should be, as soon as the issue was brought to the promotion’s attention. We’ve gone on to cover the XFCi shows in Brazil, again with the promotion welcoming us with open arms”
MM – You are correct, there is an ugly dark side of MMA and that is that often times the media itself. It is often very immature and it is reflected in the writing. There are definitely a few outstanding mma journalists, but only a few. In my experience many don’t even take the time to do simple research on the very subject they write about and because the entry level is so low their egos quickly become more important than accurate coverage of the topic they are writing about. Many of the mma media I do respect have shared this concern with me also. Your article is a perfect example of that also.
BH – “The same cannot be said of Legacy FC. Whether through incompetence or greed, the promotion seems to have a total disregard for the media or for keeping its word. That much was clear to me as I sat there and watched the “press section” sip their cocktails and cheer on Holly Holm. Legacy FC and its co-promoter, Fresquez Productions, have no interest in fostering a relationship with the few national/global media outlets, such as The MMA Corner, that cover them. The press section at their event is simply a VIP section rewarding those people who performed to the highest levels in selling tickets for the show”
MM – We did keep our word sir, you didn’t. We did not promise you a place for your laptop or a cozy spot away from those pesky mma fans you can’t seem to tolerate, we promised you a press pass to report on the event. We gave you a pass but you did not report on the event. You stole from me. We have excellent relationships with many websites, in fact many of them were there that night. I am sure if you asked them they would tell you very few promoters are as easy to work with. We make it that way because we are grateful to them and want to make it as easy as possible. We are human and make mistakes but always try to do our very best. If you had to go through some inconvenience before getting a seat I apologize. Once again I walked up there personally to ensure it was fixed, and it was. We are very customer serviced focused and can only learn from mistakes.
BH – “Credentials are a privilege, and promotions have the right to do what they choose with those credentials. If they want to give them to friends and family, or hand them out to advertisers, that’s their prerogative. But if a promotion is in the business of handing out press credentials to people who aren’t there to cover the fights and the promotion is not willing to provide credentials to a member of the press that it had previously confirmed as credentialed for the event, then perhaps that promotion shouldn’t be taken so seriously in the grand scheme of the MMA world”
MM – Yes sir, credentials are a privilege and a privilege you abused. We didn’t give a single credential to a person unless they were press. Once again the people you saw were not press which you would have known had you actually contacted me BEFORE you wrote the article. You managed to contact me very easily after the article was posted. The truth is you are the one that should not be taken seriously. Take my advice, don’t give up that day job that pays the bills because your hobby won’t be anytime soon.
BH – “The press-credential policies of organizations like the UFC and Bellator are quite clear. Those policies state that anyone with press credentials should not cheer and show obvious bias while in the media section. They also state that anyone with a press pass caught consuming alcohol will be removed. In putting together policies such as these, these organizations want to put on a professional show and foster a continued relationship with the media. Do they favor those who give them the most coverage? Certainly. But you can bet that they also expect those journalists to have laptops in front of them, not a cocktail and a pair of clapping hands”
BH – Reporting from Zone D2, Row Q, Seat 146, that’s a wrap.
MM – No sir what you wrote here is not “reporting” it is an opinion piece about your favorite subject…..yourself. Another piece of advice, don’t ever steal from me again.