To most MMA fans, Laura Sanko is known as one of the best UFC correspondents today. And in January, she made her debut on the analyst desk for UFC Vegas 46 alongside former title contender Anthony Smith.
Sanko’s eye for detail in fights comes from her own background as a mixed martial arts competitor. Bearing the nickname “Fancy,” Sanko has a 3-1 record as an amateur fighter and 1-0 as a professional under Invicta FC.
Eventually, family life hindered Sanko from continuing her fighting career, but the path she chose did pan out well for her. But recently, the 39-year-old was made to contemplate a few possibilities in terms of competition.
“Paige VanZant and I debuted on the same card, on the same night. And we both got wins, both got finishes,” Sanko told Renee Paquette in a recent interview for The Volume Sports.
“I know that if there had been an atomweight division in the UFC, I know I could’ve gone on to have a solid career in the UFC. There’s no doubt in my mind.
“There’s not much footage out there of me fighting, and I’m so much better than the footage that does exist. That’s the irritating part because my growth as a fighter really happened after I quit competing actively.”
While fighting in a cage professionally is likely not one of the options, Sanko says she hopes to get back to competition, one way or another.
“There’s definitely a part of me that wants to get back to some form of competition just to, like, prove to people that I’m about that life.”
Sanko’s first and only pro fight took place at Invicta FC 4 in 2013 against Cassie Robb. She won the fight via rear-naked choke in the second round.