It’s no secret that Zuffa employees read message boards, blogs, etc. What is interesting is whether or not more and more UFC employees will start using blogs to manipulate the message they want the public to hear. The organization already has friendly broadsheet media outlets that aren’t willing to push back against them, and then you add on the generally UFC-safe Yahoo Sports coverage team, and what you end up with is a pretty sophisticated strategy to influence both hardcore and casual MMA fans.
If Zuffa employees are taking a more active role in blogs, then it certainly signals a rise in the way MMA blogs will be used as communication outlets for UFC, WEC, etc. and perhaps astroturfing in the future.
I'll keep this brief. If anyone - and I mean anyone - thinks that because a Zuffa employee may or may not be offering inside information here that our coverage is nothing more than a mouthpiece or distribution channel for Zuffa is certifiably
bat shit insane wrong. I and others here have certainly been critical of Affliction, but have been thoroughly critical of Zuffa as well to the point where others remind us we are reflexively anti-Zuffa. Zach, you should know better than to even intimate such nonsense. I don't run that kind of site and you know it.
And for the record: I nor others here have any relationship with Zuffa. I'll be honest and say I wish I did. I have beaten the drum for credentialing so at least formal business avenues of communication could be used. But that's fantasy. The reality is that nary the twain shall meet. It's lamentable there is no dialogue, but that's the world we live in. So to think that either unknowingly or knowingly we aren't noticing Zuffa trying to implement some massive plot to virally spread talking points or pro-UFC ideas is just, well, seriously misguided.
So pore over our work. If you decide collectively we have been a willing shill or unsusepecting provider for some grand Zuffa scheme, you're free to read the work of others. We'll be just fine.
UPDATE: More respectful languge included. All apologies.