clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

UFC declines to re-sign veteran MMA analyst Jimmy Smith

The UFC on ESPN era will not include analyst Jimmy Smith.

Jimmy Smith during Bellator 181 in 2017.
No, this is NOT Joe Rogan.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

MMA fans know Jimmy Smith as one of the longtime voices of Bellator MMA, working as that promotion’s cageside analyst until he parted ways at the end of 2017. The UFC didn’t take long to sign him up to be part of its commentary and studio rotation to begin 2018, but we won’t be hearing Smith on UFC shows in 2019.

ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reported news of Smith’s impending departure three weeks ago, and now that 2019 has arrived, Smith has confirmed the news himself on Twitter.

“Now that the New Year has arrived I’m afraid I have to announce that the UFC has declined to re-sign me and my time with the promotion has come to an end,” Smith said. “I just want to thank everyone at the promotion who made me feel welcome and appreciate at every single show.”

The UFC has added retired former middleweight champion Michael Bisping to its cageside commentary team for ESPN broadcasts, to go along with its current stable of Paul Felder, Dominick Cruz, Dan Hardy, and Daniel Cormier. Joe Rogan has heavily reduced his schedule to just North American based PPV shows, although it’s unknown whether or not he’ll do the promotion’s debut event on ESPN+ on January 19th.

As for Smith, hopefully another promotion signs him up soon, as he’s highly knowledgeable and one of the more respected voices in the business.