The MMAJA Code of Conduct governs, in part, members’ interactions in a working environment. For the sake of definition, “working” includes all common, public MMA workspaces, such as in the press room on fight night, on press row in the arena during fight night, and at other events such as open workouts, press conferences and weigh-ins, except as noted below.
Members should adhere to professional journalism standards and and ethics. Members are expected to understand and uphold the MMAJA Constitution, and abide by the MMAJA Rules and Regulations and Code of Conduct.
MMAJA members must produce original journalistic work.
MMAJA members must regularly cover MMA; be a sports editor, assistant sports editor, or head of a sports desk that covers MMA; an individual certified by his or her sports editor as an MMA specialist; or an editor or owner of a website focused on reporting on or providing media coverage of professional mixed martial arts.
Journalists who are not covered above may be considered for membership on a case-by-case basis.
Active and auxiliary members are required to pay yearly dues of $50. Members in military or social service and honorary members shall be exempt from annual dues. Failure to timely pay annual dues shall result in an automatic suspension of membership, including any rights and privileges associated with such membership, unless otherwise determined by the Board or until paid. Failure to pay for one full year shall be deemed voluntary retirement thereafter, without waiver of unpaid dues. All members shall be entitled to receive a membership card covering the membership year. Such membership cards are nontransferable and shall confer no rights or privileges on any person other than the member.
All members shall be entitled to attend and participate in meetings and are eligible to serve on special committees. Active members shall be entitled to hold office, chair standing and special committees, serve on standing committees, and vote on all Association matters.
Auxiliary members shall be eligible to receive year-end awards from the Association, but shall not have voting rights on Association matters, except solely with respect to awards. MMAJA members mustn’t accept payment or gifts from event promoters, fighters, managers, gyms, coaches, sponsors, and other parties with a vested interest in the business of MMA. The journalistic work of MMAJA members should not be influenced by financial arrangements, including media rights deals, made between their media outlet and any person or organization vested in MMA.
- Refrain from rooting for or against fighters from press row on fight night.
- Do not applaud or heckle promoters, fighters, referees, judges, cornermen, commission members or any relevant event professional.
- No collecting autographs while working.
- No taking pictures with fighters or event officials for nonprofessional purposes while working.
- Your byline must be a consistent, non-varying name. Those who work under a gimmick nickname will not be admitted to the MMAJA.
- Do not wear fighter, fight company or MMA gym apparel while working. Clothing that promotes the media outlet you work for is acceptable, though we strongly suggest professional standards of dress.
- Respectfully address a subject while working. Avoid hostility and do not deliberately provoke an interview subject. Such actions in an open working area reflect poorly on the entire group.
- No improper behavior on the job with fighters, promoters, any event official or press member.
- No working under the influence of drugs or alcohol. No drinking alcohol on press row.
- Do not abuse credential privileges, for example, by making copies of your credentials in order to sneak your friends in for free. Conditions often accompany access. Make note of the terms listed by promoters when applying for press access.
- Avoid betting on fights you cover.
- Do not pay a subject for a story or interview.
- Do not accept or solicit gifts of any kind for favorable press or personal gain.
- Steer clear of conflicts of interest, real or perceived. If questions linger regarding whether or not a conflict exists, it’s likely best to avoid the appearance of impropriety.
- Cite sources of original reporting when that information appears in your work.
- Publishing photos from another outlet without permission or attribution is considered stealing and grounds for dismissal from the association.