Former Bellator commentator and newly acquired voice of the UFC, Jimmy Smith says he’s not looking to be another Joe Rogan.
Smith has often been compared to Rogan, both are bald, muscular and have a similar sounding voice and approach to MMA commentating. Rogan recently praised Smith and excoriated Bellator for letting him go, and with Rogan looking for an out from the UFC in the near future, Smith would be a perfect replacement.
Smith revealed on The Three Amigos Podcast how smoothly things went when signing with the UFC and how Rogan played a hand in his employment:
“People know that Joe [Rogan] has been trying to bring me over to the UFC for more than four years now. He’s been talking me up to them for a long time and there had been negotiations before when I was in between contracts, so it’s no surprise. Now, they have the best opportunity to have my whole career. I was a free agent with no contract for the first time, but they were very friendly and things went really well.”
Both Bellator and the UFC have been shuffling the deck in terms of commentary; Mike Goldberg left the UFC for Bellator just a few months back, and now Smith leaving Bellator for the UFC. Brian Stann is no longer providing his voice for commentary either.
But for Jimmy Smith, he’s right where he wants to be following a short period of unemployment:
“I’m thrilled to be here. It’s been a long time coming and I’m actually getting jittery because I’m looking forward to it so much. It’s a whole new world of fights and fighters, a whole new team—everybody over there has told me how excited they are that I’m coming over—it’s like I’m starting over again. I’m the new kid at a brand new school and I’m really excited about everything coming up. I get to be a part of the best promotion in the world and that’s huge for me. It’s the pinnacle of my career.”
But don’t expect Smith to replicate or replace Joe Rogan’s style, despite the comparisons over the years.
“There are two things I want to make really clear. I’m not replacing Joe Rogan. Joe is still active with the UFC this year, so it’s not like I’m coming in and he’s leaving. The other thing I want to address is that people have some idea that I was somehow pushed out by Mauro [Ranallo] and Goldie [Mike Goldberg], that signing them kind of pushed me out. They were looking forward to working with me for years. They were easy to work with (and) fun to work with…”
How do you think Smith will fit in as UFC commentator?