There’s so much to MMA fights – strategy, training, technique – and what better way to get the full experience than having great commentators to take you through the fights and dissect all the small things the fighters are doing.
From the most popular commentators to former fighters and expert MMA analysts, here’s a list of the best UFC commentators of all time.
The list is not ranked in any way but rather alphabetically ordered.
Brendan Fitzgerald might not be as well-known as some other UFC commentators, analysts, and announcers, but I love his style. He sticks to what he knows and lets the experts comment on the expert stuff.
Fitzgerald is a young face in the UFC that became an announcer and commentator for the promotion in 2017 when UFC parted ways with FOX and signed with ESPN. He now covers numerous events on ESPN and ESPN+, and while he might not have the experience or the knowledge of, for instance, Joe Rogan, he’s still a valuable asset to the UFC booth team.
He’s still not that popular as a UFC commentator, but his podcast Fitz Nation is gaining steam quickly. While he only has around 5.5 thousand followers on Instagram, I’m sure many people remember him hiding under the commentator table in 2019.
Fans at UFC Mexico City descended into chaos, throwing beer cups and other debris towards the octagon after the match between Yair Rodriguez and Jeremy Stephens was cut short after only 15 seconds due to an accidental eye poke.
Fitzgerald quickly found cover under a table. You wouldn’t even know it happened if there weren’t for Michael Bisping, who uploaded a video on social media of Brendan under a table, still announcing like nothing’s happening. It made him dear to me because it was just hilarious.
Talk about a guy qualified for the job. Brian Stann is a former MMA fighter that competed in the UFC for years. He’s also a retired US Marine, and he worked as a UFC color commentator for quite a while.
What made him one of the most beloved UFC color commentators ever was his professionalism when announcing fights. He always did his research and never slandered any fighter. Stann talked to everybody with respect, stayed committed to his job, and learned more to know how to comment better.
Unfortunately, he self-willingly left the world of MMA to pursue a new business career, but he’ll always remain one of the most professional, knowledgeable UFC commentators ever. If you want to follow him on his new endeavors, Stann has almost 50k followers on Instagram.
Dan Hardy is one of the UFC commentators that had a fighting career as good as his commentator gig. He finished his MMA career with a 25-10 record and even fought for the welterweight title against Georges St-Pierre but lost via unanimous decision. That’s when his career started to descend, as he retired only two years later.
He began working as a UFC commentator covering UK-based events first, as he’s an England native. He proved to be a valuable asset and a great in-cage substitute for Joe Rogan, who simply can’t cover every single UFC event.
However, it seems that Dan overstepped some boundaries recently, leading to him being released from the UFC commentator team. First, he had a dispute with the UFC referee Herb Dean about a late stoppage, and they got into a quarrel with another UFC employee, leading to him getting sacked.
I never really bought into his style too much, as he seemed biased to me sometimes and often lacked the excitement a UFC commentator needs – apart from the times where he had favorites. He’s a good commentator, and a lot of fans will miss him, though.
DC is one of the best MMA fighters in history. He’s one of only a few fighters in history to hold titles in two divisions simultaneously. He has an incredibly deep understanding of the game, making him a great MMA analyst and commentator. Therefore, it’s not a surprise he got the UFC commentator job right after he retired.
In fact, he already did several shows while he was still an active fighter. He knows how to be unbiased, see holes in fighter’s games, and I love listening to him breaking down what’s going on in the cage. More often than not, his analysis and in-match predictions come true, such as a fighter needing to adjust his pace, use of jabs, etc.
Cormier stated that his long-life passion was to work in the WWE, but he fell in love with the commentator position after working with Joe Rogan for a while. I guess the passion for the fight game combined with Joe’s free spirit while covering events is what made DC fall in love with the booth just as much.
You might not remember if you just recently started watching MMA, but there was a time when Dominick Cruz was considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in MMA history. A somewhat embarrassing loss to Cody Garbrandt put those allegations to sleep, along with his failed return to action against Henry Cejudo almost four years later.
However, that doesn’t take away from the fact that he’s one of the best MMA brains ever. He completely understands all the nicks and nacks of the sport, which is why I love him more as a UFC analyst rather than a commentator.
He’s still an active fighter, but he quickly became one of the promotion’s most valuable assets in the commentator booth. Ho does a thorough analysis of certain fights, matchups, etc., and you can see how much he loves this sport, never afraid to show enthusiasm or critique things he finds wrong.
Many believe he’s out of his fighting prime, and while that may be true, I’m completely sure we’ll see him around for years to come. If not as a fighter, then as a commentator and analyst.
Frank Trigg was the definition of a gatekeeper in the UFC. He came close to a title so many times, fighting the likes of Georges St-Pierre, Matt Hughes, Matt Serra, and Josh Koscheck, only to come out short, time and time again. I still consider him one of the all-time great welterweights, and I liked him even better in the commentator role.
He displayed great knowledge and had a lot of soul when covering events, but he wasn’t an announcer for that long. He recently ventured into a new business, starting a relationship blog called Ask Trigg. UFC Today labeled it as the number one relationship blog, so I guess he’s good at giving love advice just as much as he was at analyzing and commenting on MMA.
One story about Trigg that caught my attention is his infamous, explosive fight with the legendary UFC announcer Bruce Buffer. It happened in a Las Vegas elevator – right in front of their boss, Dana White.
A lot of young folks never heard of Jeff Blatnick, but he was one of the UFC color commentator pioneers and is very deserving of a spot on this list. He worked as a commentator from UFC 4 to UFC 32, but he was a professional Greco-Roman wrestler before his UFC tenure.
Jeff was the guy that really made color commentators a thing in the UFC. He didn’t know a lot at first, but to be fair, the game changed so much back then from event to event, nobody actually knew anything. However, Blatnick was great at learning on the go, giving it all to study MMA to be more elaborate while in the booth.
Sadly, he passed away in 2012 at the age of 55 due to heart surgery complications. The MMA community honors him, though, and he truly deserves the legacy he left behind. UFC Hall of Fame referee John McCarthy once said, “Jeff deserves so much credit for helping MMA to establish.” I couldn’t agree more.
Yet another old-school MMA commentator, Jeff Osborne, wasn’t one of the regular UFC voices. He’s only done a couple of events for the company, usually working as a behind-the-scenes interviewer. However, his road to the UFC booth is what gets him the nod on this list.
Osborne was an underground commentator that called basement fights and kept us entertained when politics interfered and banned MMA on cable. He had this hoarse, heavy-smoker voice and knew how to get you riled up.
It felt awesome hearing that voice in a UFC setting, but he didn’t just appear; he was great. Perhaps Jeff wasn’t as famous as Blatnick and other commentators, but he kept MMA alive for me when it was almost dead, and I respect him for it.
Call me crazy, but I loved Jimmy Smith during his short time as a UFC color commentator. HE was a super positive presence and had that good guy vibe. Many fans found him “soft,” so the promotion didn’t renew his contract in 2019.
Still, Jimmy’s been a TV personality for quite a while now, as he was the commentator for UFC, Bellator, Invicta FC, Premier Boxing Championship, and now, he got to the WWE. Many people don’t know that Smith was briefly a pro-MMA fighter, too, racking up a 5-1 record before transitioning to TV-related jobs.
You might also know Smith as the American Ninja Warrior co-host, but what gave him credibility in my eyes was his BJJ black belt. He knew what he was talking about, and I think all the best commentators must have a thorough knowledge of the sport to be any good.
What can I say about Joe Rogan that you already don’t know? He’s by far the most famous UFC color commentator in history, and he is my favorite as well. He’s got the funniest reactions, and he adores MMA, and you can feel his passion every time he’s calling a fight or doing a post-fight Octagon interview.
Joe has been with the UFC since 2002, and it’s hard to imagine UFC without him. He does tend to be a bit biased at times, especially when calling fights for his favorite fighters. I found it annoying at times, but I don’t mind it a bit. It just shows me he’s a fan, just like the rest of us.
He’s a very skilled martial artist, though, and he has an incredibly deep knowledge and understanding of virtually every aspect of MMA. Oh, he’s also a comedian, does his own podcast, and numerous TV appearances.
Speaking to his popularity is his Instagram, where he has over 10 million followers. Heck, even his dog is close to a million. Joe Rogan is as big of an icon in the UFC as any fighter, champ, coach, or commentator.
John Gooden is one of the most genuine guys on this list. He’s highly educated and knows how to do his job well. He has worked for the BBC and many other companies throughout his career, studying all aspects of television and broadcast. Even if he didn’t fight in his life, he’d still be a more qualified commentator than half the UFC booth roster.
However, alongside his extensive broadcasting skill set and knowledge, he is a prolific martial artist, too, training BJJ, MMA, and other martial arts for decades now. But, what I love about him the most is his attitude – he’s always respectful but cheerful and knows how to create an entertaining atmosphere.
John usually calls UFC events in the UK, as he’s from England, so it’s not rare to see him paired with Dan Hardy – that was the case before Hardy got sacked.
One of the most popular names besides Joe Rogan in the role of a UFC commentator is Jon Anik. He began his UFC career in 2011 and hasn’t turned back since. He’s a beloved character and a presence a lot of fans love seeing and hearing call fights.
He readily stepped into Mike Goldberg’s shoes as the lead play-by-play UFC commentator after Goldie retired. He has a deep passion for the sport, and you can feel it when he’s calling fights. And, he’s under contract with the UFC until the end of 2022 at least, and I’m sure that contract will be renewed when the time comes.
Witnessing his popularity are his social media number, where he has almost 300k followers. Oh, and he also hosts a podcast with another UFC commentator (and former title challenger), Kenny Florian, where they talk about the UFC, MMA in general, pop culture, and sports overall.
While Julie Kedzie never had a UFC commentator gig, I feel like this list needs a female commentator. And, I believe Julie is one of the best to do it. She’s currently the commentator for Invicta FC, the best women MMA promotion in the world. She tends to sidetrack sometimes and not follow the action, but I love her knowledge and enthusiasm.
She was a fighter herself, fighting in Strikeforce and UFC against Miesha Tate, Germaine de Randamie, and others.
I loved KenFlo more as a fighter than I love him as a UFC commentator, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t damn good at it. At first, he didn’t have a full-time gig, and he was still an active fighter when he started covering fights. However, his knowledge of the sport and deep experience serve him well in the booth, which is why he became an integral part of the UFC team.
Florian isn’t with the UFC anymore after years of collaboration. He just recently joined another UFC legend, Randy Couture, and signed with PFL to call their fights. He said he really loves the new opportunity, and even though he wasn’t my favorite commentator in the UFC, fans will certainly miss him.
If this were a ranked list, I would put Michael Bisping in my top five best UFC commentators ever. His wittiness and fast tongue made him famous through his entire career as a fighter, and nothing different is going on when he calls fights, too.
He doesn’t hold back on expressing his opinion and even gets into little scuffles with people he interviews, which is why I love him as a commentator so much. He speaks his mind, and he’s usually right. His knowledge of the game is unmatched, and it helps that he knows how to articulate what’s happening in the octagon.
For some, Mike Goldberg is the best UFC and MMA commentator in history. I wouldn’t go that far because I didn’t enjoy his bias thoughts during fights sometimes, but who can blame the guy?
Goldie has been a UFC color commentator almost from the start, covering 20 years’ worth of events from 1997 to 2017. He’s the other half of UFC’s dynamic duo in the booth, with Joe Rogan being the first half.
You could listen to Mike covering Bellator fights until recently when he parted ways with them too and seems to have retired.
Pat “The Croatian Sensation” Miletich was a bad man in the octagon, earning himself a spot in the UFC Hall of Fame. He was never a full-time commentator for the UFC. Pat only appeared on several events as a guest commentator, but even then, he showed a knack for the job with his impressive knowledge and analysis skills.
However, he was a full-time color commentator for Strikeforce until it disbanded in 2012. Most recently, he was the commentator for LFA but got fired after being present at the recent Capitol riot in DC.
I’m not going to lie – Paul Felder is one of my favorite MMA fighters of all time. He’s also one of the best UFC commentators ever, becoming a regular on the team even though he’s still an active UFC fighter.
You can see what a spirit Paul is in his fights. He had four split decisions in five fights at one point, always being resilient, persistent, and methodical. Felder knows all there is to know about the game, and he’s using that knowledge greatly as the commentator.
I think he and Dominick Cruz are the greatest MMA minds among UFC commentators, as their analysis is always on point. What makes Paul my favorite, though, is that he’s always respectful and passionate about what he’s doing.
Like several guys on this list, Randy Couture was never a regular UFC commentator, but he’s done numerous shows as a guest. It was sometimes funny to me knowing what a beast that man is and hearing him comment so quietly you had to turn up the TV. However, he was actually quite elaborate and articulate, and I loved listening to what he had to say.
Randy is a legendary fighter and a former US Army sergeant, and his vast martial arts experience is obvious every time he’s in the booth.
He got better at it, too. Right now, he calls fights with Kenny Florian in the PFL, and they seem like a great time to do it.
Last but not least, Rashad Evans is yet another legendary fighter that found his way to the UFC commentary table. Suga was a spectacular champion as a fighter, but what made him so good was his MMA brain.
He knows every little trick in the book, and it was awesome listening to him calling fights and explaining all the small stuff that’s going on that you couldn’t see on your own.
He’s done more commenting on ESPN’s MMA shows, but it wasn’t a rare sight to see calling fights live. However, he always said how much he preferred fighting, as commenting sometimes made him “feel stupid”. I felt that during his coverages – you could feel the passion for MMA, but he lacked the passion for expressing it with a microphone.