Former middleweight champion Michael Bisping will be joining the UFC commentating team in 2019 as the promotion moves to ESPN for a new five year broadcast deal.
Bisping announced the news on his ‘Believe You Me’ podcast after getting his first chance at color commentary duties this past summer as part of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series.
“I’m gonna be commentating UFC events going forward, so that’s interesting and exciting for me,” Bisping revealed. “Just going back-and-forth with the UFC, gonna be obviously continuing with ESPN in the New Year. Got the first few dates, Brooklyn, Phoenix, London, so that’s exciting and yeah they’ll be some commentary in there as well. Yet to get my first gig booked, but we’ve negotiated the deal and everything.
“So that’s good news, it’s exciting times.”
Bisping received praise for his work on the Contender Series where he called fights for several cards this past summer and immediately there were calls for him to be added to the UFC’s commentary team as well.
The former champion retired from fighting earlier this year and has been a stalwart on UFC television programming as part of the broadcast deal with FOX while typically making appearances on ‘UFC Tonight’ as well as pre and post fight shows.
Now Bisping will move into the commentary booth where he joins fellow fighters Daniel Cormier, Paul Felder and Dominick Cruz, who have been doing color commentary as well over the past few years as the UFC has moved to a three-man booth for many of the biggest shows during the year.
It appears Bisping will do commentary as well as return to his role as an analyst for the new ESPN deal in 2019.
ESPN has not made any formal announcements yet about broadcast plans for UFC programming outside of the slate of cards expected to air on the network in 2019. ESPN is expected to have shoulder programming similar to what FOX had with the UFC during that seven year broadcast deal.