The UFC’s new broadcast deal with ESPN after seven years with FOX brought about a little uncertainty for its analysts. After the UFC announced its partnership with ESPN for 2019 and thus bringing the promotion’s seven-year run on FOX to a close, there were many questions about what would change as far as on the production end. With “UFC Tonight” airing its last program prior to UFC Milwaukee, one of the specific questions was whether or not the FOX anchors would be making the move over to ESPN. While the future most of the other FOX analysts still remain in question, Michael Bisping will join the commentating team over at ESPN, and lead studio anchor Karyn Bryant confirms that she will be making the move to ESPN as well.
“Now we’ve finished up everything, dotted the I’s, crossed the T’s, so I’m really psyched,” Bryant told MMAjunkie Radio. “I’ll still be doing what I’m doing – it’s just I don’t know how everything is going to exactly work yet, if the shows will look just the same.”
There will be one notable change from the way Karyn Bryant and crew are used to operating, and that will be more traveling to air live from the venue of the events:
“We’re always going to be on the road for fight night now,” Bryant confirmed. “… For the year ahead, (ESPN) wants the desk on the road, in the building for fight nights, which I love. There’s nothing like when the guys, and the ladies, come up to the desk after a fight and they’re still bloody, or they’ve got an icepack on, and you’re doing an interview there. That’s really great. To be able to have that experience more often is going to be fun.”
Karyn Bryant had been asked by many on social media what her future would hold with the UFC’s FOX partnership concluding, and if the answer was anything that did not involve a continuation of her UFC broadcasting role, Bryant says she would have been left devastated:
“I would have been very heartbroken, of course,” Bryant said. “I’m not looking for it to end. People are like, ‘What are you going to do if it ends?’ I don’t really plan for that. I have other things that I like to do, but I’m never figuring for those things to be instead of the UFC – it was always along with doing the UFC.
“… I would have been really crushed, so I’m happy to keep going. I’m very bonded to our analysts, I’m very bonded to the fighters – it’s what I’ve been doing for a long time now, so I wasn’t looking for it to end.”
Who else are you hoping makes the leap over to ESPN from the FOX broadcast team?