Jon Anik’s UFC contract runs till 2026, and he hopes to resume.
Current accusations of bias from offended UFC followers haven’t modified his timeline for remaining within the sport. He’d prefer it to alter the best way he reacts to these followers on social media, although.
One week after Anik’s impassioned retort to MMA followers who attacked him for scoring the UFC 297 headliner for Dricus du Plessis over Sean Strickland, the longtime UFC play-by-play man mentioned he realized a lesson about when and what to interact on-line.
It was not an employer-mandated lesson, he provides.
“I feel for me as a play-by-play man, when there are myriad allegations of bias, or folks suggesting that there’s an absence of objectivity, I acquired delicate to that, however I shouldn’t,” Anik informed MMA Combating. “I’m actually not delicate to private assaults and issues like that. I actually need to not be delicate to allegations of bias, as a result of 95 p.c of the fan base felt prefer it was an excellent name and really felt like no less than half the fan base felt like Dricus du Plessis received the combat.
“However as Invoice Belichick would say, it sort of is what it’s. And as one among my ESPN radio colleagues texted me there, there ain’t no rainbows with out some rain. So it’s what it’s. Fortunately, I’ve the help of the UFC, and I suppose most significantly, I’ve the help of the roster, fortunately.”
Anik issued a proper apology on social media after calling out “malice and disrespect from the fan base,” saying he was in a “heightened emotional state” after allegations of bias towards du Plessis. He mentioned he wanted “to be extra accountable on an open microphone,” although he mentioned he would proceed to be accessible to followers.
The response to Anik’s preliminary criticism was overwhelmingly optimistic, with many fighters and business vets declaring his contributions to the game. Others acknowledged the often-toxic nature of on-line criticism, bolstering the UFC commentator’s remark that it has gotten worse lately.
When Anik apologized, many believed it was on the urging of his employer. However behind the scenes, he mentioned he acquired nothing however help from the UFC and executives. He mentioned the free speech that’s espoused for fighters on the UFC platform additionally extends to the commentary crew.
“I’m so grateful that there’s not a double normal, proper? … When you take a look at a few of my tweets questioning aloud why a sure man or girl perhaps isn’t getting a title combat, proper, some folks may suppose why would the lead play-by-play voice of the UFC be uttering that in a public house. However I’ve by no means been muzzled. I’ve by no means been censored, and once I talked to my boss, Craig Borsari, about all of this, there was nothing suggestive popping out of his mouth. It was all help.
“So I’m very grateful that, even when my opinion perhaps disagrees with the promotion, that they nonetheless permit me to voice my opinion, as a result of I attempt to do it in a considerate means, and a respectful means. And that’s why I feel perhaps that that I’m afforded that leash. However that’s one factor that I’m supremely grateful for, as a result of from day one, I keep in mind Dana White pulling me into his workplace saying, ‘We didn’t rent you to be Joe Rogan or Mike Goldberg or anyone else — we wish you to be you,’ and that’s held true since January twentieth, 2012. Lots of people take a look at my assertion as some kind of UFC-led, impulsive choice, and it actually was not that.”
As disillusioned as he sounded, Anik mentioned he has “thicker pores and skin than perhaps I led on in that emotional second” on his podcast. He mentioned he could also be extra considerate concerning the folks he interacts with sooner or later, however the criticism he acquired hasn’t modified his mission.
“I hope they prolong my contract on the finish of this contract, October 2026,” he mentioned. “In order for you the precise date, I’ll be 15 years in, man. That is my life’s work. I’m not going to be that man who sticks round ceaselessly and prevents a younger man from getting a chance. I’d be very shocked if I’m doing this in to my sixties, even when it’s the biggest job on earth. However I’ve no intention of leaving in 2026.
“I feel for a man like me who grew up a New England Patriots season ticket holder within the Nineteen Eighties after they have been the laughing inventory of the NFL, there’ll at all times be that NFL pull, however I don’t know if I can say it any extra clearly — I’ve the job I need, and each Saturday night time, I can guarantee you I’ve acquired to earn it, as a result of they’ll terminate me with out trigger at any time.”