Laura Sanko Explains Origins of “Fancy” Nickname, Discusses “Very Special Year” in Her Career

Las Vegas, NV — At Friday’s 2021 World MMA Awards, Dana White’s Contender Series and Invicta FC commentator Laura Sanko became the first woman nominated for Personality of the Year.

It’s an honor that was just starting to sink in ahead of the show. “Honestly I’m kind of having a hard time absorbing this moment right now,” Sanko, a former fighter herself, told Cageside Press. “I was in a rush to get ready, I’m alone in my hotel room and had no one to zip up my dress, little things like that. Then I get here, and it’s kind of starting to sink in now.”

“It’s been a really, really special year. A very special year. And I’m very honored to be the first female to be nominated in this category.”

If Joe Rogan calls in sick some day, you’d better believe Sanko is ready to step up. “Yes. Yes. I’m in,” she replied before we could even finish the question.

There’s no question Sanko’s broadcast career has been looking up of late. While she didn’t take home Personality of the Year in the end, in September, she became the first woman in history to provide color commentary in the Zuffa era, working the booth during Dana White’s Contender Series.

She’s come a long way, in other words, from the days where people thought she was too fancy to fight. In fact, that’s exactly how she got her fighting nickname: Laura “Fancy” Sanko.

“When I first started fighting — this is going to make me sound really stuck up, but I’m not — I was driving a Porsche Boxster. This little yellow convertible, and I’d be ripping around town, show up to practice, do my thing or whatever,” Sanko recalled. “One of the guys I knew found out I was going to take a fight, not just train anymore. We were out on the town, I was out with a friend at a bar, we ran into him and he was like ‘you’re not going to fight, you’re too fancy to fight!’ And so I was like, that was my middle finger to that moment, was adopting that as my nickname. I’m like ‘I am fancy— and I fight!'”

Watch our full interview with Laura Sanko ahead of the 2021 World MMA Awards above.