Zone D2, Row Q, Seat 146.

That’s where I was sitting when Holly Holm finished Juliana Werner at Legacy Fighting Championship 30 on Friday evening. Next to me, in the cup holder on the seat, was a stack of empty plastic beer cups. They weren’t mine. They belonged to the fans who sat next to me, fans who had ordered as many beers as they were legally allowed to carry—they were double-fisting it that night. Between my feet sat my laptop case. Inside it, my laptop.

I had a bad feeling about this event in the week leading up to it. I had applied for credentials by the deadline—two weeks prior to an event—stated on Legacy’s website. I had not received a confirmation of my application submittal, and I had yet to hear from Legacy officials regarding confirmation that I would be credentialed. This wasn’t all that unusual, however. Many promotions often wait until just days out from an event to send the official credential confirmation email. So, when no word had arrived by the day before the event, we reached out to Legacy. Eventually, via text message, we were told that I was “good” by a member of the Legacy team who goes by the name Rich Legacy (obviously, that’s not his real name).

With the confidence that I wouldn’t be traveling hours out of my way just to be turned away at the doors, I packed up my laptop and gear. The plan was to leave my day job—the one that pays the bills—and make the roughly hour-and-a-half to two-hour drive to the Route 66 Casino, west of Albuquerque. I’d have approximately another hour of travel to get back home following the event.

The drive went well—barely a state trooper in sight (which is a rarity along that stretch of road), no wrecks to bring traffic to a standstill and hardly a single tumbleweed crossing the road. I always get to events early, and I was there early enough to find the Legends Theater within the casino and then hunt down a bite to eat. After a satisfying meal, I headed back to the doors of the theater to check in, get my credentials and find my seat. I wanted to get a feel for the setup and get plugged in and connected to the casino’s WiFi.

That’s when I started to realize what type of night was in store. I walked up to the press table and told them my name and the media outlet I was representing. I wasn’t on the list. I repeated my name and media outlet, and added that I had received confirmation of my credentials from Rich. After a moment of debate, the woman who appeared to be in charge—I never did catch her name—said I was “good,” and I received my wristband and press-pass badge.

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.

After a few minutes, the lady from the press check-in table who had granted me my press pass walked up. In a hurried voice, she told me that she needed my badge and wristband back. According to her, we hadn’t covered them enough.

Let me pause here to explain our coverage of Legacy’s events. I preview the promotion’s events regularly as part of my Out of Obscurity series. In the instance that there are more than three intriguing regional/international cards in the same week, we bump Legacy up to the status of receiving a full-card preview from another staff writer. We interview Legacy fighters whenever the opportunity arises. We’ve written editorials about the promotion as a whole and we’ve even written a few about that evening’s headliner, local favorite Holm. We also provide event results and coverage even when we do not have a writer in attendance. What more could possibly be expected out of a dedicated MMA site ?

So, here I was, trying to explain myself to the lady, who said she represented Fresquez Productions, when I was handed the ticket—Zone D2, Row Q, Seat 146—and given a choice: accept the ticket or be left without a seat. The lady motioned to the stage and said there was a limited amount of seating and I wasn’t on their list. It was clear that no matter the choice I made, I was not going to be covering the event.

Some might say coverage is possible from a seat in the stands. I’m here to tell you that it’s not. Especially if you’re trying to provide play-by-play and live results. There’s no power, so when your laptop is depleted over the course of a four-hour event (which can happen even if the laptop is fully charged), you’re dead in the water. I was given no instructions on accessing the internet. And then there’s the circumstances of where I was sitting. Try writing on a laptop resting on your lap while a drunk fan sloshes beer over the rim of his plastic cup and into your general vicinity. Try typing as fans with seats further down the aisle trip over your feet. Try focusing on a fight when, if you do have a laptop open in such a situation, people next to you ask what you’re doing and attempt to carry on conversations about your website or the ones they frequent. It’s not happening.

Faced with the choice, I took the ticket. My reasoning was to stay in the venue while working to resolve this issue and regain the press pass I had been promised. I texted Rich Legacy, who was not at the event that night, and I asked my colleague, Rob Tatum, to call him. A short while later, Rich texted to tell me that someone named “Jen” would be calling in a few minutes.

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.

I texted Rich again. He responded that “Jen” was working on it, but someone named “Doris” had not given her the pass yet. Rich also said he didn’t know who this “Doris” was. So, I continued to wait, right up until Holm landed the final blows that put Werner away and gave Holm another win on her still undefeated record.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Reporting from Zone D2, Row Q, Seat 146, that’s a wrap.

Note: The press section referred to in this article is based upon the information supplied to The MMA Corner when the press credentials were pulled. The actual press section, according to another journalist at the event, consisted of one table at the back of the stage and two cageside spots. The Fresquez Productions representative never relayed this fact, instead indicating the stage in its entirety.

About The Author

The MMA Corner Staff

Your home for all things MMA. News, Interviews, Event Coverage, Editorials. If it is MMA related, you will find it on The MMA Corner.

  • angel

    That was probably the most whiney article Ive ever wasted my time reading, are you sure you didnt have a couple of rattles stored away in your laptop case as well, media arent gods and if you’re as wet as you come across no wonder Legacy dont want to encourage media at events

  • Fritz Fowler

    This dude here…what a whiney little bitch. So you had to sit in “general population” instead of being treated like royalty…and it’s Legacy FC’s fault. Love the constant references to “how the UFC and Bellator” treats your fragile, whiney ass. Maybe stick to covering figure skating or the popular dog shows. This reminds me of my 5 year old nephew when he doesn’t get to push the elevator button first. Whiney little douche you are Bryan. Little fruit loop.

  • Roosevelt

    So you write an article bashing Legacy, when in fact it was their partner that you interacted with that night. Not “Rich” or “Jenn”. Did you see actual press credentials or did you just assume that’s where you were supposed to sit? And if it’s their credentials and they can do what they please with them, per you. Your actual gripe is they didn’t let you sit where you wanted.

    • Bryan Henderson

      I’m criticizing both, because I interacted with both that evening….Fresquez at the event and Rich via phone to resolve the issue. I was given credentials, as stated in the piece, and told I was confirmed for credentials beforehand. I had the badge around my neck and a wristband on my wrist, only to have them taken away. My gripe isn’t about me “sitting where I wanted,” it’s about the credentials that I was told had been confirmed before I drove out of my way for the event and about Legacy and Fresquez’s handling of the situation. I’d have the same criticism if it were another writer from another media outlet, too.

      • Fritz Fowler

        Someone has a sad face. Are you sad, Bryan? Turn that frown upside down.

        • angel

          wheres the actual piece you wrote from being there as media?

      • Roosevelt

        But you said Rich wasn’t there. That someone from Fresquez asked you for your credentials back. And you say it’s their credentials to do with as they please. It just seems as though you’re upset because you didn’t get to sit where you wanted while watching fights you didn’t have pay for.

  • Fritz Fowler

    Poor Bryan…

  • PhightKnight

    Hey man, dude(Writer) couldn’t do his job. The piece you are reading should have been about holm and werner, Holms broken arm.Even more all the other fights on the card at Legacy 30. Since he was treated so unprofessional and unable to do his job,not having the resources or even Some Respect. I completely understand. They need exposure,not like this. MMA fans are fickle at best. They where just being sour,because they think (incorrectly I have to add) that they are not covered enough??.WHAT THE f****. see ……Fickle , Grow up. Let the professionals work so we (The fans,those people that keep the sport alive) can read about the sport we love and so we can find those obscure promotions that will always have some sort star in the making prospect.

  • Abu Sharmouta

    LOL. The Darker Side of MMA Joirnalism? Really dude? Calm down Bryan, get yourself a napkin for those tears, and breathe in and out. Everything is going to be ok, son.

    Right now you seem like the kid that’s bitter over being picked last for football, so now you’re taking your ball and going home.

  • Abu Sharmouta

    This really is pretty pathetic. This was posted by Mick, head of Legacy by the way. Not even 24 hours after you attended his first event you chose to slander it. Didn’t even give him or any of the Legacy people a chance to rectify what happened. I’d say you have some rectifying to do yourself, now.

    • Bryan Henderson

      Actually, I did. I reached out to Rich again this morning with no response. They seemed intent on ignoring the situation. I had a ton of respect for Legacy before this event, but this was a very unprofessional experience…and, since writing this, I’ve heard from several other writers who have had similarly bad experiences with both Legacy and Fresquez.

      • Fritz Fowler

        Yeah, sure you heard from “other writers” that have had this type of experience with Legacy. With Fresquez, maybe, but not with Legacy. Quit the bitch whining. People like you make reputable writers that people actually know look bad.

        • angel

          out of interest Bryan have you had problems with Fresquez before?

          • Fritz Fowler

            Legacy had a media pass ready and waiting for this douche. Fresquez then came and personally took it from him…not Legacy. Let’s see if shit-lip spills the beans about the shit he did to get Fresquez pissed…cause I will if not.

          • Bryan Henderson

            I’d be interested to know what I did to Fresquez to piss them off, because I honestly don’t know. My only interaction with them prior to last night was in requesting credentials to one of Holm’s first MMA fights, back in 2011. At the time, we were just getting The MMA Corner off the ground and didn’t have the readership we have now, nor the resources to provide much coverage. I was turned down, and I’d have to dig up that email thread, but I believe my response was something along the lines of “thanks, hopefully we can work together in the future.” Not sure how that would have pissed Fresquez Productions off.

            And Legacy did not have a media pass ready for me, though they told me they did. If you read the article, you’ll notice that it’s the first thing I point out. They apparently failed to communicate that I had credentials to Fresquez, but told me I had credentials. Fresquez gave me credentials, then pulled them saying we didn’t cover them enough–but I explained how much coverage we do give to Legacy. I contacted Rich from Legacy to try to resolve the issue and Legacy mishandled that as well.

          • Roosevelt

            I’ve never seen you at a Legacy show. And, this is the first one I’ve missed.

          • Roosevelt

            “So, here I was, trying to explain myself to the lady, who said she represented Fresquez
            Productions, when I was handed the ticket—Zone D2, Row Q, Seat 146—and given a choice: accept the ticket or be left without a seat. The
            lady motioned to the stage and said there was a limited amount of seating and I wasn’t on
            their list.” In your own words Fresquez Productions took your credentials. Might want to review slander and liable laws. And didn’t anyone ever tell you that you look like a full size Vern Troyer or Gollum?

          • Fritz Fowler

            You’re like a woman scorned. The good thing is, no one has to worry about you covering Legacy again…not that anyone had a clue of you in the first place.

  • Ricardo Talavera

    Stop whinnying!!! (Arnold’s voice)

  • Fritz Fowler

    Starting to get a little more information now about you, Mr. Henderson. Apparently there have been previous problems with you in regards to Fresquez. You failed to mention that though. Let me dig a little more and see if we can’t get it all out in the open. A little nervous yet, bitchass Bryan? You little fruit.

  • Somebody Has A Sad

    “The Darker side of MMA journalism”???
    “…debacle”

    Easy on the selling sauce their dude. You got snubbed. Happens sometimes, especially to websites that most people have never heard of (like this one).

    Hell you should be thanking Mick for posting this on his wall, this is probably the most traffic you’ll get this year.

  • Jared Degroot

    You mentioned something about having a day job in this article. Might want to stick to that……….

  • Guest

    This guy Bryan Henderson is nothing more but a whiney dweeb trying to make his name by bashing a first class organization. This is the type of bottom feeder who ends up writing bullcrap articles for smut peddlers like TMZ. I can tell you first hand after dealing with countless MMA organization’s and promoters that without a doubt Legacy, Mick Maynard and the entire Legacy staff is as professional and first rate as they come. Maybe you have had to many holes pierced into the really lovely face of yours. You look like that bastard son of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and Courtney Love.

  • AfricanRockFish

    This is why the MMA Media’s considered a joke. It’s not about journalism; it’s about nutriding fighters and getting freebies out of promoters.

  • derpderpderp

    more like Cryan Bitcherson ;)

  • Pingback: The Darker Side Of Being A Whinny Douche MMA Journalist | The Official Website of Mike "The Truth" Jackson()

  • Pingback: The Darker Side Of Being A Whiny Douche MMA Journalist | The Official Website of Mike "The Truth" Jackson()

  • Tim Miller

    What a whiiny ass hatchet job. “Darker side of MMA?” Cause you didn’t like your seat? When I ran MMA Explosion, I covered several Legacy events. Each time they were totally professional and classy and ran a first class operation. I didn’t have a problem using my laptop in just my lap either.

  • Fritz Fowler

    Since little fruit loop Bryan blocked me on another social media site, I will share a little more info. Nervous yet Bryan? Let’s talk about the “missing” laptop from Fresquez after one show you attended. Uh oh, someone has been doing their homework. Want to talk about the charges filed against you? I bet not. You little fruit loop.

  • Guest

    Just so everyone knows:

    Mick Maynard

    6 hours ago near Houston, TX

    well, I probably let this blogger rent a little too much space in my head but I still took the time to respond on my flight home today. My answers are written below each of his paragraphs. If you are an MMA promoter and want to know who it is please message me.

    ” 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.”

    – 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.

    ” 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”

    – 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.

    “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”

    – 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.

    “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”

    – 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.

    “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”

    – 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.

    “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”

    – 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.

    “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”

    Reporting from Zone D2, Row Q, Seat 146, that’s a wrap.

    – 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.

  • stillalegacysupporter

    your crying about seating? how bout me as a fighter… I take a fight for legacy against a 5-0 fighter being 1-0 take the fight on a week notice and lose get injured. legacy never gave me another fight not even a second glance. someone like me should be talking shit.. but your crying over a fucking seat? use your phone smh…

  • Pingback: » Undefeated Holly Holm to weigh her ‘many options’ as broken arm heals – MMA Fighting()

  • Pingback: Undefeated Holly Holm to weigh her ‘many options’ as broken arm heals – MMA Fighting | MMA NEWS()

  • WHo

    All you need to do is confirm where the press section is and if you’ll be sitting there–before the event. I would have never driven 2 hours to an event not knowing where I was sitting, if I had access to power, etc.

  • Pingback: MMA eh eh. | Another Runaway()