Joe Rogan and Jimmy Smith are highly regarded as mixed martial arts color commentators.
Many draw comparisons between the two, but their styles are different. It’s their unique delivery that has earned them success over the years. After being known as the voice of Bellator for years, Smith signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
Smith recently appeared on an episode of Rogan’s “Fight Companion” podcast. The two discussed what makes a color commentator stand out above the rest. Rogan went first (via MMAJunkie.com):
“The two most important things are: You’ve actually got to care. This has got to be important to you. … You’ve got to care, and it has to mean something to you, and you have to know what the (expletive) you’re talking about. You have to have a deep knowledge of it. You have to really care, and then it should sort of work itself out.”
Smith pointed out how urgent it is to fill time following an early finish as well as staying the course during snoozers.
“They’ve got to use fights that have already happened, or it’s, ‘Jimmy, interview this fighter. We need five minutes right now.’ So that’s where the tap dance happens, when there’s a lot of early knockouts and you have to fill the time. That’s rough. The other thing is when you have a 25-minute snoozefest. Those two parts are really challenging. In terms of in commentary, those are two things that are really tough. The early knockouts and the boring fights.”