Here are three short news items published on MMATorch.com five years ago this week involving Anderson Silva, Chael Sonnen, Jon Anik, and Nick Diaz.
Anderson Silva has stayed mostly quiet this month after Chael Sonnen’s call-out at UFC 136, along with Sonnen’s additional ramblings in numerous subsequent interviews. However, in a new interview with Brazilian journalist Marilia Gabriela (translated by Tom Mendes at BloodyElbow.com), Silva commented on Sonnen’s constant verbal antics, and said Sonnen “doesn’t deserve” to fight him:
“I didn’t get to where I’m at by being arrogant or provoking someone. By doing these antics he ends up denigrating the image of the sport. There’s no room for that in this sport. The most important thing he did not do, which was to beat me. He even failed in a drug test, which is worse.”
The UFC has now officially announced the hiring of veteran broadcaster Jon Anik. UFC President Dana White revealed the hiring on Thursday, but a press release from the organization has more clearly defined Anik’s position.
The 33-year-old will work as the play-by-play voice for live events on FX and Fuel TV in 2012 and beyond, he will take over as the new host of the revamped Ultimate Fighter series on FX, and he will also host the UFC’s new magazine show, Ultimate Insider, which will come to Fuel TV in January.
“Jon Anik has been a top tier talent at ESPN for a number of years and I’ve made it a priority to bring him over to the UFC as we start our new partnership with FOX,” White said. “It’s critical to seek out the best talent in the business as our company continues to grow.”
Anik began working with ESPN in 2006, and was instrumental in bringing MMA Live to television on ESPN2. He’s also handled play-by-play duties in the past for Bellator Fighting Championships, college football, and a 2010 boxing title fight between Vitali Klitschko and Shannon Briggs. He and his family will be relocating to Las Vegas for the transition.
“The UFC is one of the strongest brands in sports, and in my opinion, it’s the greatest sport in the world,” Anik said. “The product speaks for itself. More frequently than any other sport, the UFC delivers. I had the chance to be on the road at UFC events when I was with ESPN and what separates the UFC from other sports is that it prides itself on being hands-on and fan-friendly.”
“I look forward to helping play a small role in bringing the UFC to as many people across the world as possible. I’m really excited to a part of an organization that is filled with quality people who are the best in the world at what they do.”
Penick’s Analysis: Anik’s work during Bellator’s first season was fantastic and a good example of what he can bring to the UFC. This is a very positive move for the organization, and Anik will serve as a great addition to the production team for the UFC. With him hosting The Ultimate Fighter and working play-by-play on FX and Fuel, it will bring a different feel to those events, and overall this is just a very good move for all parties involved. I’m excited to see how he does in these roles, and I’d expect him to thrive in them.
Nick Diaz doesn’t always approach the sport of MMA with “excitement,” choosing instead to participate because it’s something he’s good at and it’s a lucrative career for him. However, one thing that has brought out a little excitement from him is the UFC’s new television deal on Fox, and you can see him express that in this video.