The Sad, Not Brave New World Of UFC Commentary

© Ron Elkman/USA TODAY NETWORK Snoop Dogg

By Elias Cepeda

Since the UFC came under new majority ownership about a year ago, change has overtaken the world's leading MMA promotion.

While fans have lamented a wave of fighter defections, matchmaking letdowns, and paper-thin interim titles, one of the most visible manifestations of the UFC's priorities and values seemingly changing under its new ownership has come in the form of broadcast talent. To put it simply, the quality of UFC broadcasts has become suddenly diminished by no small amount.

The reason for this is almost entirely because of recent commentary firings and hires by the UFC's new owners, WME-IMG. The brief argument that follows isn't a critique of the rhetoric, delivery, or any other such technical components of UFC commentary team members.

It isn't even directed at the majority of those broadcast professionals. The criticism draws upon the recent commentary of just two of them -- rapper Snoop Dogg and former professional wrestling announcer Todd Grisham.

Really, though, it isn't about either of them -- it's about the poor judgment of a promotion and company that allowed these two men to call and analyze UFC fights in the first place. Again, it isn't either commentator's voice pitch or linguistic skills that thoughtful fight fans should, and have, taken issue with so far.

In a broad sense, the three most essential things any sporting broadcaster can bring to their work are 1) Knowledge 2) Respect of the sport, its participants, and what they are doing, and 3) Overall professionalism.

Without those first three pillars, however, vocal stylings are the sports broadcast equivalent of putting lipstick on a pig.

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