UFC commentator Jon Anik, whose contract runs until 2026, has addressed recent accusations of bias from fans, stating that he has learned a lesson about engaging online and hopes to renew his contract despite the criticism.
Jon Anik’s got a UFC contract that’s good till 2026. He’s hoping to renew it.
Despite recent bias accusations from disgruntled UFC fans, Jon’s sticking around. He’s considering changing how he interacts with fans on social media, though.
Remember when Anik responded to MMA fans who criticized his scoring of the UFC 297 headliner for Dricus du Plessis over Sean Strickland? That was just a week ago. He’s learned a thing or two about online engagement since then.
Nope, his employer didn’t teach him that lesson.
Anik, the play-by-play guy, gets sensitive when bias allegations fly around. He admits he shouldn’t. “I’m not sensitive to personal attacks,” he told MMA Fighting. “I need to not be sensitive to bias allegations, because most fans thought it was a fair call.”
As Bill Belichick would say, “it is what it is.” Anik got a text from an ESPN radio colleague: “There ain’t no rainbows without some rain.” He’s grateful for the support from UFC and the roster.
Anik apologized on social media after calling out the “malice and disrespect from the fan base.” He was in an emotional state due to bias allegations towards du Plessis. He promised to be more responsible on the mic, but he’ll still be accessible to fans.
The response to Anik’s criticism was mostly positive. Many fighters and industry vets acknowledged his contributions to the sport. Some noted the toxic nature of online criticism, which Anik believes has worsened in recent years.
When Anik apologized, some thought his employer pushed him to do so. Behind the scenes, he insists he got nothing but support from UFC and executives. He appreciates that the free speech extended to fighters also applies to the commentary team.
“I’m thankful there’s no double standard,” he said. He’s never been muzzled or censored. When he discussed this with his boss, Craig Borsari, he got nothing but support.
He’s grateful that he can voice his opinion, even when it disagrees with the promotion. He tries to do it thoughtfully and respectfully. “I remember Dana White pulling me into his office saying, ‘We didn’t hire you to be Joe Rogan or Mike Goldberg — we want you to be you,'” he recalled.
Despite sounding disillusioned, Anik claims to have thicker skin than he let on during his emotional podcast moment. He’s considering being more selective about who he interacts with, but the criticism hasn’t changed his mission.
“I hope they extend my contract in October 2026,” he said. “This is my life’s work. I won’t be the guy who sticks around forever, blocking a young guy’s opportunity. I’d be surprised if I’m doing this in my sixties, even though it’s the best job on earth. But I don’t plan on leaving in 2026.”
Anik, a lifelong New England Patriots fan, feels a pull towards the NFL. But he’s clear: “I have the job I want. Every Saturday night, I’ve got to earn it, because they can fire me anytime.”