Jimmy Smith wasn’t out of calling mixed martial arts for long. Smith, who had been calling fights for Bellator since 2010, “mutually agreed to part ways” with that company at the end of December. Now, he’s signed on with the UFC. Smith tweeted the news Friday afternoon:
Honored to be a part of the @ufc and getting to call the biggest fights in the world!! Can’t wait to get to know everyone there and show how hard I can work!!
— Jimmy Smith (@jimmysmithmma) January 12, 2018
MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani reported that Smith will make his UFC debut with desk work for FS1 during next weekend’s UFC 220 broadcast:
Smith’s first UFC assignment will be UFC 220 desk work on FS1 from the LA studio, sources say.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) January 12, 2018
“I am honored to join the world’s premier combat sports brand in 2018,” Smith stated in a press release. “It is a privilege to call fights for a living, and I can’t wait to join the tremendous UFC broadcast team to call the best fights in the world. To the UFC fans, I am thrilled to join you for this wild ride. See you all very soon.”
Last week, Smith told UFC commentator Joe Rogan on the JRE MMA Show podcast that he left Bellator because they wanted him to come back at a lower salary, and the two sides couldn’t agree on terms. Here’s a transcription of that from MMA Junkie’s Mike Bohm:
“They were great to work with,” Smith said during his conversation with UFC color man Rogan. “What happened was I had a deal with an option year, and 2018 was an option year. When I was doing the (Bellator 182) show in Verona, N.Y., my boss sat me down and said, ‘We’re not going to renew for 2018. We want a different deal.’
“When your girlfriend comes to you and says, ‘We need to talk.’ It’s never to say, ‘I don’t give you enough blowjobs.’ They never say that. It’s always bad.
“They said, ‘We want to change the deal around,’” he continued. “They did make an honest effort to keep me. They really tried, they just – they didn’t make me an offer that was worth me coming back. That was the deal.”
It looks like that parting of ways has worked out just fine for Smith with him landing at the UFC. We’ll see how his work on those broadcasts is received.