Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) play-by-play commentator Jon Anik awaits the promotion’s big move to ESPN.
The UFC 232 post-fight show marked the end of the UFC’s deal with FOX. The UFC played a key role in FOX Sports’ launch. While the relationship had its highs and lows, it is deemed a success by many. On Jan. 19, the UFC will make its debut on ESPN+ with Henry Cejudo vs. T.J. Dillashaw serving as the headliner.
Jon Anik Talks UFC’s Move To ESPN
Anik appeared on the latest edition of MMAFighting.com‘s “The MMA Hour.” During his appearance, Anik discussed just how big being on ESPN is for the UFC:
“I think it’s exciting. I think it’s very interesting that you’re going to have this great set of prelims on linear ESPN, and then all of a sudden people are going to realize that if you want to see Dillashaw and Cejudo, you’ve gotta either go on some device or if you’ve got one of those fancy TVs — I think it’s going to be a transition for a lot of people. But big picture, I’m excited. When Francis Ngannou and Cain Velasquez fight on ESPN, with respect to Cain-JDS 1 on FOX and the launching of FS1 in 2013, and you know how much respect I have for those people, but a UFC fight night in prime time on ESPN, that’s been the goal since we started MMA Live in 2008. So, even if I wasn’t around for that, for a lot of us who were sort of grinding our gears at ESPN and getting nowhere in mixed martial arts setting back then, it’s like, mission accomplished. We’ve got a UFC fight night on ESPN? That’s what we’ve always been working for.”
Do you think the UFC’s ESPN deal will be bigger for the promotion than the FOX deal?