It is official. Former Bellator and UFC color commentator Jimmy Smith has joined WWE Monday Night Raw as the lead play-by-play announcer.
The news was first reported by Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer and later confirmed by both WWE and Smith on social media. Smith will make his debut on the upcoming edition of Raw scheduled for Monday, May 31 alongside long-time analysts Matthew Polinsky and Bryan Kelly, better known by their ring names Corey Graves and Byron Saxton respectively.
Smith commented on the news on Twitter and asked fans to tune in to get acquainted with him as well as see how he fares in his new venture.
“Hey guys, well it’s been a busy day,” wrote Smith on Twitter. “Apparently [WWE] liked my work so far. I know I’m stepping into a new world (I WAS a Mr. Perfect and Bruiser Brody fanatic however) but know I’ll do everything I can to honor the athletes and fans. Watch Monday and judge my work for yourself.”
Hey guys, well it’s been a busy day . Apparently @WWE liked my work so far. I know I’m stepping into a new world (I WAS a Mr. Perfect and Bruiser Brody fanatic however) but know I’ll do everything I can to honor the athletes and fans. Watch Monday and judge my work for yourself— Jimmy Smith (@jimmysmithmma) May 26, 2021
Smith previously served as an analyst on a number of broadcasts and pre-show panels for WWE NXT. His first pre-show panel came earlier this year at NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver, where he worked with the likes of Sam Roberts and Mickie James.
Smith was known for his work in the broadcast booth under the Bellator and UFC banners. He worked for Bellator for about nine years until they mutually parted ways in 2017. The following year saw Smith join the UFC for a few events, but he was not re-signed to the promotion after his brief stint. Smith went on to land a role with Invicta Fighting Championships in 2019.
Although he has this new gig, it does not appear that Smith will be leaving mixed martial arts behind completely. He will still host the daily radio show on SiriusXM known as “Unlocking the Cage” as he also announced on Wednesday evening.