Color commentator and analyst Jimmy Smith has been released by the UFC as they make the switch over from FOX to ESPN in 2019.
The move was rumored late last month and Smith has now officially confirmed that he is no longer with the company.
“Now that the New Year has arrived I’m afraid I have to announce that the UFC has declined to re-sign me and my time with the promotion has come to an end. I just want to thank everyone at the promotion who made me feel welcome and appreciate at every single show.
“I tried my utmost to show the fighters the respect they deserved for giving their lives to this sport and hope they felt that when they heard what I had to say,” he wrote. “The UFC fans were truly amazing and I wish I could thank each and every one of you for your support and even your criticism because it made me strive to be better.”
Smith also indicated that the UFC were looking to change strategy by focusing on fighters to take the color commentary roles – with the likes of Daniel Cormier, Dominick Cruz and Paul Felder already having been well received in that capacity, while Michael Bisping is believed to also be braced to commentate on select events in 2019.
Smith is well regarded within the MMA community however and also had years of experience as Bellator’s color commentator, so he’s certainly someone that deserves to be picked up by another high profile organization in the near future.