Jon Anik Leaves ESPN for UFC
This was the statement veteran broadcaster Jon Anik made at today’s UFC 137 pre-fight press conference after Dana White announced that Anik would be joining the UFC broadcasting team in early 2012.
In preparation for the UFC on FOX transition, Anik, who is the former host of the weekly “MMA Live” show on ESPN2, will now be commentating for UFC Fight Nights and The Ultimate Fighter finales, which are scheduled to air on FX starting next year.
The UFC moves from Spike TV to the FOX family of channels (FOX, FX and FUEL TV, among others) in 2012 and with the growing fight schedule and the live “TUF” airings on Friday nights, the current broadcasting team of Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan would not be able to cover every event. Enter Anik.
“We’re very happy to have Jon as part of the team,” White said during today’s UFC 137 pre-fight press conference in Las Vegas. White explained that the FOX deal, which is a hefty seven-year contract, has presented an abundance of new opportunities and growth to the UFC brand. In turn the company will need to branch out and hire new, reliable faces to help the transition take a smooth course. With that in mind White said the UFC had been trying to button up a deal with Anik for quite some time and now that deal has been officially locked up and announced.
In addition to “MMA Live,” Anik has hosted a number of different UFC-related weigh-in specials that have aired on ESPN. He has also done work for ESPN.com and ESPN Radio.
We can now officially welcome Anik to the UFC team and we look forward to hearing and seeing his work as the UFC makes its transition to FOX next year. Congrats Mr. Anik.