At the height of his recent podcast rant regarding overly-negative fans, the UFC’s lead play-by-play commentator Jon Anik threatened to quit his job when his contract expires in 2026, but now that the dust has settled it seems that he’s back on-board for the long haul.
“I hope they extend my contract at the end of this contract, October 2026,” the 45-year-old Anik told mmafighting.com. “If you want the exact date, I’ll be 15 years in, man. This is my life’s work. I’m not going to be that guy who sticks around forever and prevents a young guy from getting an opportunity. I’d be very surprised if I’m doing this in to my sixties, even if it is the greatest job on earth. But I have no intention of leaving in 2026.
“I think for a guy like me who grew up a New England Patriots season ticket holder in the 1980s when they were the laughing stock of the NFL, there will always be that NFL pull, but I don’t know if I can say it any more clearly — I have the job I want, and every Saturday night, I can assure you I’ve got to earn it, because they can terminate me without cause at any time.”
Reflecting on his outburst, which he’s since apologized for, Anik admits that he let fans accusations of bias get under his skin when he stated his belief that Dricus du Plessis rightly got his hand raised in his split-decision victory over Sean Strickland at UFC 297.
“I think for me as a play-by-play guy, when there are myriad allegations of bias, or people suggesting that there’s a lack of objectivity, I got sensitive to that, but I shouldn’t. I’m certainly not sensitive to personal attacks and things like that. I really need to not be sensitive to allegations of bias, because 95 percent of the fan base felt like it was an even call and actually felt like at least half the fan base felt like Dricus du Plessis won the fight.
“But as Bill Belichick would say, it kind of is what it is. And as one of my ESPN radio colleagues texted me there, there ain’t no rainbows without some rain. So it is what it is. Thankfully, I have the support of the UFC, and I guess most importantly, I have the support of the roster, thankfully.”