The best fighters that color commentate
Using active fighters as part of the color commentary team has proven to be a stroke of genius by the UFC. The insight and knowledge they bring to broadcast is unmeasurable and the fans benefit the most when they are on the call. Being able to break down moves, fighters, styles and other nuisances of a fight on the spot allow fans to have great viewing experience while watching fights.
Click the right arrow to read our top fighters that do color commentary.
UFC color commentator Brian Stann was an active fighter that the organization would use as part of the color commentary team. Stann brought a fighter's perspective to the announce table and allowed fans to enter the mindset of a fighter while they are locked in a fight.
The UFC loved his attention to detail and knack for always being prepared. It was believed that Stann would eventually fill in for Joe Rogan, who was lobbying for a reduced schedule. Stann was so impressive that the UFC decided to let other active fighters work on the commentary team.
Dan Hardy, the former UFC welterweight title challenger-turned UFC analyst is considered one of the good fighter commentators in the game today.
Hardy is considered an active fighter as he has re-entered the USADA testing pool, looking to return to the Octagon in 2020. As a color commentator, he started off commentating UFC's Fight Pass events, and also worked as an analyst on Fox Sports. Hardy’s insight and knowledge of European fighters were viewed as an asset.
When the UFC increased their European fight cards, Hardy was a logical choice since he could enlighten the fans on fighters they didn’t know and keep the fan's interest peaked by providing insight into their training and fighting styles.
Paul Felder has joined the announce team recently.
Felder recently fought at UFC 242 on September 7, defeating Edson Barboza. He brings a knowledge of current fighters to the table and his understanding of different elements in mixed martial arts. Felder previously called MMA fights for the first season of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series.
He is still learning the commentary side of the fight game, but he has the talent and knowledge to be a great color commentator.
Daniel Cormier is one of the best active fighters to call fights today.
His knowledge of wrestling and grappling is outstanding. During fights he can break down what a fighter should do to avoid situations and he can also let the audience in on what a fighter can do to get out of certain situations as well. Cormier brings a championship mindset to the mic to go with his wealth of experience to the announce table.
Recently, Cormier was given a bigger platform by ESPN to share his knowledge with MMA fans with segments on “Detailed”. During “Detailed” he breaks down certain fighters, showcases their strengths and weaknesses and provides fans a variety of insight coming off a fight or going into an upcoming fight.
Dominick Cruz, in my opinion, is the best active fighter color commentator.
Yes, he is still considered an active fighter even though he hasn’t fought since December 30, 2016. Injuries have forced him to missed scheduled fights against Jimmie Riviera (2017) and John Lineker (2019). He has become a vital member of the announce teams calling some of the biggest fights.
Cruz explains the concepts of certain moves and how and why a fighter used that move. His simplistic explanations give the audience a basic understanding of moves, footwork, and fighting styles without losing them by using too many technical terms. Leading up to big fights, Cruz and Gilbert Melendez do a “Keys to Victory” segment on ESPN that breaks down how the fighters should attack their opponent.
This is one of my favorite segments leading into big fights because it gives me something to look for during the fight.
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The Scrap’s Lee Brown is a 22-year Air Force Vet, fan of all sports – especially UFC, NFL & NBA, and cohost of Lee N Keys Real Talk Podcast. You can follow Lee on Twitter (@Levanstian757) and Instagram (@Va121Lee).