Fox Commentators Welcome UFC with Open Arms

November 10, 2011
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Everybody knows Fox football commentator and reporter Jay Glazer is a huge MMA fan, who actually teaches and trains the sport in his spare time.

But for every Jay Glazer there are 10 journalists like ESPN’s Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser who routinely bash MMA without having much knowledge or insight on the sport in which they are calling ‘barbaric’ or a ‘bloodsport.’

When the UFC announced their seven-year deal with Fox, everyone knew Glazer was on board with assured excitement, but what about all of the other commentators, journalists, and reporters in the Fox family of sports?

Fox Sports Co-President Eric Shanks says that everyone working at Fox was beyond excited when they made the deal official, and welcomed the largest MMA organization in the world into their fold.

“The day that we signed the deal, people kind of knew we were talking to the UFC ahead of time, and the day that we signed the deal I didn’t know this, but every person at Fox is a UFC fan,” Shanks stated on Wednesday.

“Every woman that works there, every man that works there, people were high fiving me in the hallway, thanking us for getting the deal. Every young guy, every PA, every AD, that place hasn’t been more pumped in a long time than when we actually signed the deal.”

The Fox broadcasters reach a wide variety of sports with commentators like baseball play-by-play man Joe Buck, who hosted the recent edition of UFC Primetime, as well as NFL pre-game show host Curt Menefee, who actually anchors the broadcast team for Saturday night’s live coverage of Velasquez vs. Dos Santos.

Some of Fox’s famous faces will even show up on Saturday night to help lend support to the UFC’s welcoming party to the network.

“The announcers too, you’re going to see Terry (Bradshaw), Howie (Long), and Jimmy (Johnson) down there in Anaheim on Saturday night. (Michael) Strahan is obviously there, he’s a big fight fan; Curt’s (Menefee) obviously working,” Shanks revealed.

“We’ve welcomed a new sport to the family and we haven’t done that in a decade, and like David (Hill) said, everybody’s just completely stoked.”

Fox will also hold a red carpet event leading into the UFC on Fox show, which will air on Fuel TV during their two-hour pre-show starting at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday night.

Fuel TV host Nicole Dabeau will lead those festivities while Jay Glazer and UFC lightweight Kenny Florian lead the coverage in the studio heading into the 9 p.m. ET kickoff for the fight.

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  • MikeMc1983

    I’m not one to try and critique a writer of a story, and this isn’t really about him. We as mma fans often refer to people who “bash” mma as uneducated, or ignorant. I love the sport. It’s probably been my favorite for a few years. Im also a big nfl and nba fan. And less so, but fan of most sports.

    However, I don’t know that it’s really fair to just disregard people as ignorant because they think the sport is barbaric. It seems to me that someone could greatly educate themselves, and still hold that belief. Like I said, I watch just about every fight card I have easy access to, and sometimes there are fights that get a little rough. There are many times that a fight seems to resemble more of a bar fight than one in which someone is utilizing a martial art of any kind. In fact it kinda annoys me because often these same fights people put in the running for fight of the year. Leneord Garcia in just about every fight gets credit for “heart.” however often he’ll stop really defending himself and just throw punches as if he might as well have his eyes closed.
    It’s not like I’m anyone. But to me as long as we credit “wars” like those as some of our “best fights” we as mma fans are guilty of giving the “bashers” a reason and a valid arguement against our sport.