UFC Commentators: The Unforgettable Voices Of The Octagon

Who are the men behind the voices?

UFC Commentators: The Unforgettable Voices Of The Octagon

Image: ESPN

UFC commentators play a big role in the success of UFC events because they help bring the fights to life with their expert analysis and blow-by-blow account of the fights.  

Because of their importance, the UFC makes sure that it has a Dream Team of UFC commentators working each event. Over the years, there have been more than 20 people who have been given the privilege of working UFC fights for the TV or PPV broadcasts.

Joe Rogan

UFC Commentator - Joe Rogan via mmafighting.com
Image: mmafighting.com

Joe Rogan is the longest-tenured UFC commentator. The 56-year-old is best remembered as the host of the TV show Fear Factor. Joe has worked with the UFC since 1997. Rogan’s first event was UFC 12 where he worked as a backstage reporter.

In 2002, UFC President Dana White asked Rogan if he wanted to commentate a UFC event. At first, Joe was hesitant but ultimately, he agreed to do UFC 37.5 on 22 June 2002. The rest, as they say, is history. Rogan is the host of one of the most popular podcasts on planet Earth- The Joe Rogan Experience.

Jon Anik

UFC Commentator - Jon Anik @mmapack via Facebook
Image: @mmapack

Jon Anik is the lead play-by-play voice for the UFC on pay-per-view. Anik began his media career with ESPN as an anchor for SportsCenter and later MMA Live on ESPN. He worked on several UFC events covered by ESPN before joining the UFC in 2011. Since Mike Goldberg left the UFC in 2017, he assumed the role of lead play-by-play commentator for all PPV events.

Anik is best remembered for making a bet with his podcast co-host Kenny Florian that he would get a ‘209’ tattoo if Nate Diaz beat Conor McGregor at UFC 196. Diaz beat McGregor and Jon kept his word by getting inked with the Stockton, California telephone area code ‘209’ on his arm.  

Daniel Cormier

UFC Commentator - Daniel Cormier via si.com
Image: si.com

Daniel Cormier is a former UFC light heavyweight and heavyweight champion. DC was the second UFC fighter – after Conor McGregor, to hold two UFC belts simultaneously and was the first fighter to ever successfully defend both belts. A former NCAA Division I All-American wrestler, Cormier retired after losing to Stipe Miocic at UFC 252 in 2020.

Even before his retirement, DC worked the TV booth for UFC Fight Night 96 in Portland on 01 October 2016. He became a regular member of the commentating team shortly after his retirement in August 2020. 

Dominick Cruz

UFC Commentator - Dominick Cruz via si.com
Image: si.com

Dominick Cruz is another former UFC champion who traded his gloves for the microphone. The Dominator is considered one of the greatest bantamweight fighters of all time. Cruz was the final WEC bantamweight champion who was promoted to UFC champion after beating Scott Jorgensen at WEC 53. 

Cruz was known as one of the most agile fighters in UFC history. His unorthodox movement and striking made him one of the most dangerous fighters during his era. But after multiple injuries prevented him from fighting like he used to, Dom turned to colour commentating. Currently, the 39-year-old Cruz hasn’t retired yet but has not fought since 2022 and has been more active in the TV booth.

Michael Bisping

UFC Commentator - Michael Bisping via essentiallysports.com
Image: essentiallysports.com

Michael Bisping was the first British fighter to become a UFC champion. After winning the Cage Rage light heavyweight title, Bisping joined TUF 3 in 2006 and won the light heavyweight tournament. Mike knocked out Luke Rockhold at UFC 199 to become the UFC middleweight champion.

Bisping retired after losing to Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Fight Night 122, citing an eye injury he suffered in the bout. On 2, February 2019, he made his color commentary debut at UFC Fight Night 144 in Brazil. His first commentary on a pay-per-view event was at UFC 251 in Abu Dhabi. Currently, Bisping is also a commentator for Powe Slap, the slap-fighting promotion owned by UFC President Dana White.

Paul Felder

UFC Commentator - Paul Felder via mmafighting.com
Image: mmafighting.com

Paul Felder is another former mixed martial artist who has made a name for himself as one of the UFC’s top colour commentators. The 40-year old who was known as The Irish Dragon in MMA circles is a former Cage Fury FC lightweight champion with one successful title defense. He joined the UFC in 2014 and fought until 2020.

While he was still fighting, Felder was already part of the UFC’s commentating team. He made his first commentating appearance at UFC Fight Night 116 on 16 September 2017. Paul’s first pay-per-view event covered was UFC 230. 

John Gooden

UFC Commentator - John Gooden @johngoodenuk via Facebook
Image: @johngoodenuk

John Gooden began his career working as a backstage reporter for UFC Fight Night events in 2014. He rose from the ranks and became a colour commentator later on. Gooden honed his hosting skills while working in London and learned television production while working for BBC Radio.

Currently, Gooden doesn’t just do play-by-play commentary for TV. He is also a producer for several UFC shows who also started a fundraiser called “Keeping the Lights On” which helps raise money for struggling MMA gyms.

Brendan Fitzgerald

UFC Commentator - Brendan Fitzgerald @BFitzTV via Facebook
Image: @BFitzTV

Brendan Fitzgerald has been working with the UFC since 2017. The New England native began his UFC commentating career at the Dana White Contender series. Fitzgerald got his big break in 2019 when he did the Zhang Weili vs Jessica Andrade title fight in China. He was also a commentator for the Cowboy Cerrone vs Justin Gaethje bout in Vancouver.

Years later, he’s moved to Las Vegas and has become a mainstay in the UFC TV booth. Fitzy also appears on various programs on UFC Fight Pass and has his own Fitz Nation podcast.