After Laura Sanko’s spectacular pay-per-view debut at UFC 293, the MMA world is buzzing with talk about the best UFC commentary team. We gathered our own group of experts, Shaheen Al-Shatti, Steven Marrocco, Jed Meshew, and Damon Martin, to weigh in on their ideal commentary lineups in a post-293 world. Let’s dive into their insights and opinions.
Al-Shatti’s Perspective: A Shift in the Winds
Al-Shatti, our seasoned MMA observer, starts by acknowledging the prevailing phenomenon in the MMA community—Joe Rogan’s formidable presence. Any critique of the “Podfather” is met with fierce opposition from his loyal followers. However, something extraordinary unfolded at UFC 293. Al-Shatti admitted that if the UFC introduced more of Laura Sanko’s talent and less of Rogan’s on major shows, he’d be thrilled. To his surprise, the MMA world seemed to agree, a rare moment of unity in this diverse sport.
Sanko’s exceptional preparation and on-mic sharpness breathed new life into the commentary booth. Al-Shatti believes that with time, this trio—Jon Anik, Laura Sanko, and Daniel Cormier—could establish a new standard for UFC commentary. Anik’s class in play-by-play, combined with Cormier’s infectious enthusiasm and Sanko’s expertise, make for a promising team.
Martin’s Stance: Stick to the Classics
Martin, on the other hand, advocates for the old adage: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” He firmly believes that the trio of Jon Anik, Joe Rogan, and Daniel Cormier remains the go-to team, especially for pay-per-views. These marquee events demand the most memorable commentary, and Rogan’s iconic voice has become synonymous with legendary UFC moments.
Martin acknowledges Laura Sanko’s exceptional performance but emphasizes the value Rogan brings to the table. Cormier’s enthusiasm and intelligence also make him a valuable asset in the booth. While he concedes that Cormier could dial it down occasionally, he has unwavering faith in Cormier’s commentary abilities.
In Martin’s eyes, the status quo is still the reigning champion, and no one is ready to dethrone this commentary trio.
Marrocco’s Take: Embrace the Professionalism
Marrocco congratulates Laura Sanko on her impressive pay-per-view debut and proposes a lineup featuring Sanko, Jon Anik, and Paul Felder. He values professionalism and accessibility, describing this trio as the most suitable choice on the current roster. It’s a lineup that strikes a balance, avoiding the excessive bro-culture, caustic commentary, or overbearing presence found elsewhere.
Marrocco also recognizes that age catches up with everyone, including Joe Rogan. He suggests that it might be time for producers to consider fresh voices, given the demands of the job. Additionally, he advocates for Anthony Smith and Dan Hardy to have opportunities in the commentary booth.
Meshew’s Unique Perspective: Embrace Change
Meshew brings a unique perspective, emphasizing the inevitability of change in the world of MMA commentary. He argues that commentators are like perishable goods, with a shelf life of about three years due to the relentless nature of the sport. Over time, the grind can transform even the most respected voices into caricatures of themselves.
Meshew doesn’t want to see Laura Sanko succumb to this fate. Instead, he playfully suggests bringing back Mike Goldberg, the man who “cannot be corrupted.” While Goldberg’s commentary may be objectively flawed, it often provides entertainment and talking points for fans. Meshew sees a place for nostalgia and humor in the commentary booth, even if it means embracing some imperfections.
The UFC commentary landscape is ever-evolving, with each expert offering a unique perspective on the ideal team. Whether it’s preserving the classics, embracing professionalism, or injecting some humor and nostalgia, the discussion around the best commentary team is as diverse as the sport itself. Only time will tell if Laura Sanko’s impressive debut marks a turning point in UFC commentary or if the classics will continue to reign supreme.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about UFC Commentary
What was the main topic of discussion in the panel?
The main topic of discussion in the panel was the ideal UFC commentary team following Laura Sanko’s impressive debut at UFC 293.
Who were the experts participating in the panel?
The panel featured MMA experts Shaheen Al-Shatti, Steven Marrocco, Jed Meshew, and Damon Martin, each offering their unique perspectives on the commentary team.
Which commentators were mentioned as potential members of the ideal team?
The panel discussed several commentators as potential members of the ideal team, including Joe Rogan, Jon Anik, Daniel Cormier, Laura Sanko, Paul Felder, Anthony Smith, and Dan Hardy.
What were the differing opinions on the current commentary team?
While some experts favored maintaining the current commentary trio of Jon Anik, Joe Rogan, and Daniel Cormier, others proposed new lineups featuring Laura Sanko, Paul Felder, or fresh voices due to Rogan’s aging.
How did the experts view the importance of change in commentary?
Jed Meshew emphasized the inevitability of change in MMA commentary, suggesting commentators have a shelf life of about three years. He advocated for embracing nostalgia and humor, even if it meant imperfect commentary.
What were the qualities appreciated in Laura Sanko’s debut?
Laura Sanko’s impressive preparation, sharpness on the mic, and her ability to elevate those around her were qualities highly praised by the experts.
Were there any humorous suggestions for the commentary team?
Jed Meshew humorously suggested bringing back Mike Goldberg, known for his flawed yet entertaining commentary, as a way to inject humor and nostalgia into the booth.
Did the experts agree on the ideal commentary team?
While there was a diversity of opinions, no unanimous agreement on the ideal commentary team was reached. Some experts favored maintaining the current trio, while others proposed new combinations.
What is the overall sentiment in the panel discussion regarding Laura Sanko’s impact?
The experts generally had positive sentiments about Laura Sanko’s impact, with many acknowledging her stellar debut and potential to bring a fresh perspective to UFC commentary.