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‘I’m ready’, Laura Sanko targeting 2022 debut in UFC commentary booth

Laura Sanko is hoping to graduate from the Contender Series to the big show.

Laura Sanko behind the desk for Dana White’s Contender Series.
Laura Sanko behind the desk for Dana White’s Contender Series.
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Laura Sanko’s hard work with Invicta FC and LFA lead to her being snapped up by the UFC this year to work as both a cageside analyst and commentator with the Contender Series brand.

Sanko, who went 3-1 in amateur MMA and 1-0 as a pro, recently told MMA Junkie that she is gunning for a step-up on the ladder in the new year.

“For next year I would like to be able to call – not that I don’t love the Contender Series, it’s my baby – but I would like to be able to call some Fight Nights,” she said. “The UFC does things for a reason and the people above me who make those decisions make them with lots of things in mind. So I’m certainly not looking past all that, but the reality is, that’s what I want to do. I know I’m capable of doing it. I feel like I’ve proved that.

“The experience of Contender Series was great because it’s 10 weeks in a row, I did every single show. Got to work with Paul, got to work with DC, got to work with Michael Bisping. So a lot of reps. A lot of reps with different people. So, I’m ready. Let’s do it.”

If Sanko does get the call to work the booth for a bigger show she can expect some extra scrutiny. In the last 12 months we have seen a number of UFC commentators called out by fighters (and each other) for various reasons.

In October headliner Marvin Vettori vowed to confront commentator, and ex-fighter, Paul Felder, over so-called ‘bias’ commentary. In September Alexander Volkanovski’s coach Eugene Bareman criticized the UFC 251 commentary team for supposedly favouring Max Holloway over his fighter.

UFC mainstay Joe Rogan has also come in for criticism, causing Jon Anik to spring to his defence. One fighter who complained about Rogan was Cris Cyborg, who said she never felt comfortable fighting when Rogan was on the mic due to things he had said about her in the past.

Lately, it has been Daniel Cormier who has been in the firing line—thanks to a fellow commentator.

Last week Dominick Cruz slammed Cormier for not doing his homework ahead of the fights. This lead to a tense back and forth between the two, which ended up drawing both Michael Bisping and Henry Cejudo into the fray.

Cormier was also recently lambasted by Sean O’Malley. ‘Suga’ wasn’t happy with DC’s comments during his win over Raulian Paiva at UFC 269.