The UFC’s commentary team just gained a member. Enter Jon Anik, former host of ESPN’s MMA Live. He’ll be the second string Goldberg for the UFC’s FX and Fuel programming.
“One of the guys that I have been aggressively been going after came from ESPN. I have a lot of respect for him, what he’s done, not only there, but as far as mixed martial arts goes. I finall got this deal done and I’m proud to announce here today we’ve come to a deal with Jon Anik,” White said at today’s UFC 137 pre-fight press conference. “Jon Anik will start with the UFC in January as soon as we launch on Fox.”
Anik also appeared at the presser and expressed deep gratitude for the opportunity, as well as excitement to join a staff with which he is supremely impressed.
“I believe the UFC is as strong a brand as there is in professional sports, but what really drew me to this organization were the people behind it,” Anik said today. “I think as strong as this organization is, it’s the people behind it. This is a machine, it’s a well-oiled machine. I just hope that I don’t get in the way. I’m very excited to get started. My first day is Saturday, I’ll be there at UFC 137. This is where I wanted to be. If I was leaving ESPN there was one destination, it was the Ultimate Fighting Championship. It’s a dream come true and I’m happy to be here.”
It seems like a dream come true for many MMA fans as well, who seem pretty happy with the choice. Sure, any announcement like this that doesn’t involve Gus Johnson or Stephan Bonnar is cause for celebration. But people genuinely like Anik and respect the fact that he actually knows what the fuck he’s talking about – always a plus but for some reason not always a requirement in this sport.
Just ask Mike Goldberg, who coasted on an impressively limited amount of MMA knowledge for over a decade. He’s better now, but back in the day every move and technique was like a newly discovered toy. Do you remember how bad it was after he learned what a teep was? Dude wouldn’t shut up about that shit for like six months. And don’t get me started on his broken record routine. Every event … is virtually i-dentical!