Two hours before doors opened Sunday at the 1stBank Center in Broomfield, Colo., a UFC official informed Sherdog.com -- the largest independent MMA media site on the Web, the official MMA content partner for ESPN.com, and my home as an executive editor from 2004-2008 -- that its access had been pulled indefinitely because of a "executive decision," multiple sources confirmed to SI.com.
Asked to comment on the decision to revoke Sherdog.com's access, UFC president Dana White told SI.com via text that his reasoning was "none of your [expletive] business."
Darius Ortiz, the editor in charge of boxing and mixed martial arts for ESPN.com, and Sherdog.com founder Jeff Sherwood declined to comment on the UFC's position.
Sherdog.com went without access to the UFC from late 2005 until the middle of 2009, when it was allowed to return Octagon-side.
This is huge news in the MMA media world. The partnership between Sherdog and ESPN.com was a major step forward for MMA media as it represented the sports media leader wanting to not only have MMA content, but have it from the biggest MMA site on the web.
However, the UFC and Sherdog have a very rocky history dating back to the site spoiling the fourth season of The Ultimate Fighter which led to huge problems. Add in the infamous Dana White tirade in which he used sexist and homophobic slurs in regards Sherdog's Loretta Hunt and an anonymous source and the more recent rant where White again got upset with Sherdog, this time because he felt that they were not "promoting" his event enough.
Now Sherdog's credentials have been pulled and it will be very interesting to see if and when they get them back.
SB Nation will have more on this developing story as it becomes available.