Earlier today (Dec. 28, 2017), Bellator announced that the promotion has parted ways with longtime commentator Jimmy Smith.
According to MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani, Smith’s contract expired and the two sides could not come to terms on a new agreement.
In the release, Bellator gave a statement, labeling Smith as ‘one of the finest combat sports announcers of our time’:
“Jimmy is one of the finest combat sports announcers of our time,” the press release read. “He has played an integral role in the growth of Bellator as it has evolved into the successful global franchise it is today.”
A statement from Smith was also included:
“I am very grateful to the entire Bellator organization and fans for an amazing and unforgettable nine years,” Smith stated. “As I move on to the next phase in my career, I want to wish all of the fighters, producers, and Bellator staff the absolute best.”
Bellator now has some options moving forward regarding it’s commentating team.
Veteran announcers Mike Goldberg and Mauro Ranallo have both spent time in the Bellator booth throughout 2017, and Chael Sonnen and Frank Mir are expected to receive some commentating opportunities moving forward.
In regards to Smith, Helwani also reported that the UFC has showed interest in him, although nothing is official as of yet.