As the UFC’s quest for world domination continues and they begin to expand their programming through the landmark Fox broadcasting deal, the need to add to their staff obviously grows. As part of that initiative, UFC president Dana White announced today that the promotion has acquired the services of ESPN anchor Jon Anik for their broadcasting team.
“One of the guys that I have been aggressively been going after came from ESPN. I have a lot of respect for him, what he’s done, not only there, but as far as mixed martial arts goes. I finall got this deal done and I’m proud to announce here today we’ve come to a deal with Jon Anik,” White said at today’s UFC 137 pre-fight press conference. “Jon Anik will start with the UFC in January as soon as we launch on Fox.”
Anik also appeared at the presser and expressed deep gratitude for the opportunity, as well as excitement to join a staff with which he is supremely impressed.
“I believe the UFC is as strong a brand as there is in professional sports, but what really drew me to this organization were the people behind it,” Anik said today. “I think as strong as this organization is, it’s the people behind it. This is a machine, it’s a well-oiled machine. I just hope that I don’t get in the way. I’m very excited to get started. My first day is Saturday, I’ll be there at UFC 137. This is where I wanted to be. If I was leaving ESPN there was one destination, it was the Ultimate Fighting Championship. It’s a dream come true and I’m happy to be here.”
Until signing with the UFC, Anik was an anchor and host of ESPN’s MMA Live. White detailed that Anik will take some of the burden off of the UFC’s current broadcasting team, Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan, by covering the events that will air on FX as part of the UFC’s new broadcasting deal with FOX. Anik will also be involved with the new, live version of The Ultimate Fighter and some reports have Anik taking part in the UFC’s impending FOX debut on November 12.