Former UFC Commentator Jeff Blatnick Passes Away at Age 55

October 24, 2012
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Jeff Blatnick, Ryan Bennett and Stephen QuadrosFormer Olympic gold medalist and UFC commentator Jeff Blatnick passed away on Wednesday following complications after having heart surgery.

Blatnick was 55 years of age at the time of his passing.

A gold medalist in wrestling in 1984, Blatnick was one of the first Americans to ever capture the gold in the Greco-Roman category.

In 1994, Blatnick joined the UFC as a color commentator and advisor, where he continued to work for the next 7 years. His last show with the promotion was UFC 32 in June, 2001.

Blatnick helped develop some of the unified rules of MMA still used in competition today, and eventually he became a licensed judge and referee with the New Jersey State Athletic Commission.

A staple of the wrestling community as well, Blatnick worked closely with young athletes, and coached at the high school level up until his passing on Wednesday.

Blatnick is survived by his wife and two children.

  • Zephyr

    I’m shocked. Very sorry to hear that. He seemed like a great guy and was a pioneer of the sport. I guess we all have to take that ride sooner or later.

  • Jeff Weller

    I met jeff @ UFC #7 when i managed Remco Pardoel
    worked the WEC and IFC and Warriors Challenge series
    with Blatnick. One of the coolest people in MMA!
    RIP Big Man you will be missed!
    Jeff Weller “Voice of the Cage” Announcer

  • Wow! I just got home and heard this sad news. Much love and respect goes out to Jeff, a legend left us today.

  • AJ

    So sorry to hear this news. He was a wonderful mentor for my son and many others on the Niskayuna wrestling team.

  • passerby23

    I remember seeing an interview with Blatnick about a year ago and I thought his health didn’t look good. He was overweight, his under-eyes severely bagged and puffy (a sign of poor kidney and heart function), and thought I hope something bad doesn’t happen to him. Always loved his commentary and love for MMA.

  • Brent

    What a shame. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family. I’ve recently seen him as a judge at a number of MMA fights. RIP big guy.

  • KyleZombie

    Very sad to hear. I always highly enjoyed his commentary and I thought his role in the early days was very underestimated. He had to figure out exactly what we were all watching in the early days when none of us really had a clue what was going on.