Smith: I’m not replacing Joe Rogan
Former Bellator commentator Jimmy Smith signed recently with the UFC, and spoke recently with Stephie Haynes for BE, to discuss his new UFC contract, duties, working with Joe Rogan, best/worst parts of commentary, and more. He may be able to work with longtime friend Joe Rogan, but made clear he has no intention of replacing him.
“I’m not replacing Joe Rogan,” said Smith. “Joe is still active with the UFC this year, so it’s not like I’m coming in and he’s leaving. The other thing I want to address is that people have some idea that I was somehow pushed out by Mauro [Ranallo] and Goldie [Mike Goldberg], that signing them kind of pushed me out. … Nobody pushed me out of Bellator and I’m not pushing anybody out of the UFC.”
“[The UFC] are doing three-man booths frequently, which they didn’t do before, so something like Anik, me and Joe is certainly a possibility. It’s all up to the UFC on how they want to use me, but I’m down for anything.”
“The way it’s laid out is that I can do standup stuff in terms of the FOX studio offerings, I can do features like their Top 10 Knockouts kind of thing, commentary—everything is laid out, and it says, ‘We can use you for anything we want,’ and I went, ‘Great!’”
“What the UFC has that Bellator doesn’t is real depth in their divisions. There’s 10-15 guys/ladies in every division that are top level competitors. Past the Top 5 in Bellator, you start having problems. To make a Top 10 in Bellator, around Number 8, you start running out of people. The elite fighters are good, but they have real problems with depth.
“I’m the new kid at a brand new school and I’m really excited about everything coming up. I get to be a part of the best promotion in the world and that’s huge for me. It’s the pinnacle of my career.”