Laura Sanko to Make UFC Color Commentary Debut at UFC Vegas 68

Laura Sanko
Laura Sanko (right) Credit: Rodney James Edgar/Cageside Press

Laura Sanko will be in the broadcast booth at UFC Vegas 68, where she’ll be featured on color commentary for the first time on an Ultimate Fighting Championship broadcast.

Promotion officials announced the news in a press release distributed on Monday.

Sanko, 40, competed as an amateur in the early 2010s, later turning pro in 2013 and winning her lone fight against Cassie Robb. She then made the transition to the broadcast booth, first for Invicta FC, and later under the Zuffa banner.

In recent years, she’s kept a high profile, providing commentary on Dana White’s Contender Series while interviewing competitors and UFC President Dana White on each episode of the show.

Sanko will be the first female color commentator on a UFC broadcast since UFC 1, where kickboxer Kathy Long appeared in the booth. No female analyst has appeared during the promotion’s broadcasts since, though several have worked pre- and post-show duties at the desk as hosts and analysts, while others have featured in backstage interview segments.

“Taking the next step to join the UFC commentary team has been a goal of mine since I began my broadcast career,” Laura Sanko said in Monday’s press release. “It is an honor to walk in the footprint of Kathy Long 30 years after her appearance on UFC 1. I consider it a true privilege to be part of the team that is a voice to our incredible fans, communicating the fighting art of each man and woman who steps inside the UFC Octagon.”

Sanko first appeared before the UFC audience in 2016, when the promotion was still broadcast on FOX.

“I can’t think of anyone better to be the first female color commentator for the modern UFC era than Laura,” Dana White was quoted as saying as part of Monday’s announcement. “She has worked incredibly hard to prove herself and get to this position and I couldn’t be prouder to have her calling the action.”

UFC Vegas 68 (UFC Fight Night 218) takes place this Saturday, February 4, 2023 at the Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. The card is headlined by heavyweights Derrick Lewis and Serghei Spivac.