Earlier this month, we learned that respected MMA commentator Jimmy Smith had left his long-time home of Bellator. From there, buzz immediately began to surface about his possible move to the UFC. UFC commentator Joe Rogan even sang Smith’s praises, encouraging the promotion to pick him up.
“You f**ked up, Bellator,” Rogan said on his MMA Show. “You f**cked up. I’ve been telling everybody that Jimmy Smith’s the best out there and you let him go. That’s a huge error on their part. I would be thrilled if somehow or another they were able to work it out where Jimmy Smith was at the UFC. That would be what I would like to see.”
Speaking on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, Smith discussed a possible move to the UFC, and promised news in the coming week.
“We will see,” he said. “Things are in the works, that’s all I can say.”
“I would say within the week,” he said of when we can expect news. “Definitely within the week.”
While Smith wouldn’t commit to a move to the UFC, he explained that for commentators, the options are either the UFC, Bellator or a combination of non-exclusive deals with smaller promotions.
“In our space, basically, being a commentator is like being a fighter,” he said. “In the United States, it’s [work for] UFC, Bellator, [or] have a day job. You can fight, but it can’t be your only gig. If you’re not in Bellator or the UFC, if you’re fighting for another organization, you’ll fight, you’ll probably make some money, but you better have something else on the side. It’s no different as a commentator, where it’s Bellator, UFC, or a combination of things. Now remember, I had done boxing for PBC when it was on Spike too, so a lot of boxing promotions saw my work too and were very, very impressed, but it’s UFC, Bellator, then it’s mix and match, you know what I mean? Then it’s boxing, and we need this and this and that. Then it will add up to a nice salary and a good year, but in terms of a place to land in MMA, it’s Bellator, UFC, or a non-exclusive, four or five organization deal. Because there just isn’t enough work in any anything other than the UFC or Bellator in terms of MMA.”
Do you think Jimmy Smith will end up in the UFC?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/8/2018.