This weekend, Laura Sanko will make her commentary debut at UFC Vegas 68. The 40-year-old will be the second female colour commentator in UFC history.
Sanko is a former atomweight MMA pro who last competed for Invicta FC before beginning broadcast work for the organization. She made her debut in the UFC in 2016 as a backstage reporter, although she has always had aspirations to work in the commentary box. In a recent press release, she said:
“Taking the next step to join the UFC commentary team has been a goal of mine since I began my broadcast career. It is an honor to walk in the footprint of Kathy Long 30 years after her appearance on UFC 1. I consider it a true privilege to be part of the team that is a voice to our incredible fans, communicating the fighting art of each man and woman who steps inside the UFC Octagon.”
The first UFC event was called by former kickboxing champion Kathy Long in 1993, but Sanko will be the first woman to do so in the Zuffa era. Sanko has called Dana White’s Contender Series before, but this will be her first time doing so for a main card.
At the next Apex event, Laura Sanko will make her commentary debut. The event will be headlined by a heavyweight fight between Derrick Lewis and Serghei Spivac.
Sanko made the following tweet on Twitter:
“Thank you very much for all the support 🙏🏻 You guys are amazing. And thank you @ufc for this incredible opportunity. I’m truly honored.”
UFC president Dana White also praised Laura Sanko and said that she had earned her position. He freely stated that she was the most deserving candidate for the position.
White said in a statement:
“I can’t think of anyone better to be the first female colour commentator for the modern UFC era than Laura. She has worked incredibly hard to prove herself and get to this position and I couldn’t be prouder to have her calling the action.”
Sanko predicted this development and even DMed Dana White about it just a year into her employment. Sanko told Mortal Kombat:
“But like, I wanted to have an opinion and I wanted to have thoughts. And so I got a little bit drun k one night after the Contender series. And my room there in my room, and I was like, You know what? I’m just going to DM Dana (White). And so I was like, Hey, I just want to thank you for the opportunity for putting me on this show.”
“It’s been amazing. I f**king love it. And just, you know, like, one day I will be the UFC’s first female commentator”
“I had to have been hammered because, like, who does that? I’ve been. I’ve been with your company a year and a half now. I had one professional fight in Invicta, but I was just like, F**k it, I know I can do this.”
“And I sent it to him. And I don’t I think I immediately regretted it, but like he it was like 3:00 in the morning. He responded, He’s like, I believe you. And that was the end of the conversation. It wasn’t like, you know, I know. It wasn’t like, Oh yeah, we’re putting you there. But it was like, it was, it was it was the perfect response.”
“He didn’t have a laughing emoji.” – one of the hosts pointed out.
“No, no. And he didn’t ignore it. And and there’s been several moments like that since then where he has been very much an encourager of this to happen. “
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