UFC Declines to Re-Sign Color Commentator Jimmy Smith

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Jimmy Smith
Jimmy Smith Credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

Jimmy Smith’s time with the UFC was short-lived, as the color commentator announced on Tuesday that he was parting ways with the company after they declined to renew his deal.

It appears Jimmy Smith’s tenure with the UFC is over. The popular analyst, who spent years with Bellator MMA before jumping to the UFC last year, announced on social media Tuesday that the UFC has declined to renew his services. It’s a shocking turn of events for Smith, who came into the UFC with a lot of support among fans, and even long-time UFC analyst Joe Rogan.

Many, in fact, expected to see Smith eventually take over for Rogan, who has been scaling back his duties in recent years as he continues to pursue other projects, including his popular Joe Rogan Experience podcast.

In a statement on Twitter, Smith wrote the following farewell:

Now that the New Year has arrived I’m afraid I have to announce that the UFC has declined to re-sign me and my time with the promotion has come to an end. I just want to thank everyone at the promotion who made me feel welcome and appreciate at every single show.

I tried my utmost to show the fighters the respect they deserved for giving their lives to this sport and hope they felt that when they heard what I had to say. The UFC fans were truly amazing and I wish I could thank each and every one of you for your support and even your criticism because it made me strive to be better. Wishing everyone a great 2019 and on to the next fight…Adios Amigos

It will be interesting to see where Smith lands next. His old home, Bellator MMA, has seen ex-ref and rulemaker ‘Big’ John McCarthy sit in the analyst seat over the past year, along with a handful of other names. It’s also something of a surprise to see Smith go given he did an excellent job in the role. However, the UFC has continued to give airtime to current and former fighters, with Michael Bisping stepping up on the Contender Series, and UFC broadcasts in the coming year.

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Editor at Cageside Press, Jay has been covering the sport of mixed martial arts for several years. His work has appeared on The MMA Corner, What Culture, Cage Pages, MMA News, Today's Knockout, and Fox Sports (via Fansided). Jay holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Guelph, and a Certificate in Leadership Skills from Humber College. When not slaving at the keyboard, he can be found in the company of his dog, a good book, or getting lost in the woods.

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