Joe Rogan would love to work alongside former Bellator commentator Jimmy Smith.
Veteran UFC commentator Joe Rogan thinks it was a big mistake for Bellator to part ways with Jimmy Smith, who had commentated under the Bellator banner for nine years before leaving the promotion last week.
Smith, though, who sports a 5-1 pro mixed martial arts record, didn’t leave Scott Coker’s Bellator on bad terms and said he had a great time working with the company for so many years.
“It’s not a Bellator thing,” Smith said on a recent episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, per MMA Fighting’s Jed Meshew. “They were great to work with. They were great about the whole break up thing. What happened was, I had a deal with an option year and 2018 was my option year and when I was in Verona, New York doing the Verona show, my boss sat me down and said, ‘We’re not gonna renew 2018, we want a different deal.’”
“So that was it. When they were like, ‘We want to change the deal around,’ I was like, ‘Okay,’ and they did make an honest effort to keep me. They really tried, but they just didn’t make an offer that was worth me coming back. That was pretty much the deal so it’s kind of comparatively amicable.”
As a free agent and widely considered one of the best commentators in the game, Rogan thinks Smith would make a great addition to the UFC commentary team.
In fact, according to Rogan, who has been working with MMA’s premiere promotion since 1997, he tried to persuade head promoter Dana White to sign Smith four years ago.
“I called Dana White about you, how many years ago, like four?” Rogan said. “I tried to get Jimmy Smith hired by the UFC four years ago. I was like, ‘Dude, you want better people, you want more people? Hire that f*cking guy. He knows what he’s doing, he’s excited, and he loves the sport. I was telling him you’re a great guy, he’s genuine, he’s a real fan and he’s f*cking good at it. Go get him.’”
Rogan, 50, said Bellator ‘f**kd up’ by letting one of their best commentators go and Smith seems open to the idea of signing with the UFC.
“You f**ked up, Bellator. You f**cked up. I’ve been telling everybody that Jimmy Smith’s the best out there and you let him go. That’s a huge error on their part. I would be thrilled if somehow or another they were able to work it out where Jimmy Smith was at the UFC. That would be what I would like to see.”
“We shall see,” responded Smith. “We shall see how that goes.”
It’s been reported that Bellator will replace Smith with former UFC fighters Frank Mir and Chael Sonnen, who both have experience in broadcasting.