Famous UFC commentator and MMA analyst Laura Sanko used to be a professional mixed martial artist. She competed at Invicta FC and won her debut.
Laura Sanko works as ESPN Analyst & Reporter and also commentates on Dana White’s Contender Series. The 40-year-old has become quite famous nowadays being one of the leading reporters on UFC on ESPN.
She’s also one of the universally beloved – unlike Cormier who is becoming more and more polarizing.
A lot of MMA commentators and analysts used to be MMA pros themselves, such as Michael Bisping, Dominick Cruz, Daniel Cormier, and Paul Felder. Even Joe Rogan is a black belt in BJJ. Much like other MMA commentators, Laura Sanko also has direct experience on the field.
The Illinois born commentator was once a contender at Invicta FC and had her one and only professional MMA bout. She competed at the women-dedicated MMA promotion in January 2013. Laura Sanko shared a cage with Cassie Robb at Invicta FC 4, Carla Esparza and Bec Rawlings headlined the event. Sanko held the nickname ‘Fancy’ and displayed a fairly incredible performance in the three-round match.
She successfully submitted Robb early in the second round with a rear-naked choke, winning his one and only professional outing. Before that, Sanko had a total of 5 amateur bouts spanning from 2010 to 2012. She won 4 of them with 3 matches ending with finishes.
Laura Sanko eventually switched his career to be a reporter and analyst without any journalistic background. However, in an interview with MMA Junkie a while back, she revealed that her true dream is to sit in the UFC commentary booth.
“My dream would be to eventually be part of that booth. One of the things that’s kind of allowed me to succeed in this job despite no broadcasting training whatsoever, is I do really understand the fight game.”
“Over the years, I feel like behind the scenes, in production meeting and even just hanging out, I’ve been able to kind of demonstrate to all of the guys, whether it’s Paul (Felder) or Dominick (Cruz) or (Michael) Bisping, that I really do what the hell I’m talking about. My hope is that one day I can have a little bit, even more of a voice there. But any amount of time I can spend there talking to those guys is pretty awesome.” Sanko said.