One overlooked scenario from today’s blockbuster announcement that Fox Networks has signed a seven year broadcast deal with the UFC is that Gus Johnson may somehow be involved in its UFC coverage.
Fox recently inked the sometimes MMA commentator to a multi-year commentary deal that will see the veteran football and basketball play-by-play man call a variety of Pacific-12 football and basketball games, the Cotton Bowl and football games on the Big Ten Network, which is also partly owned by Fox. He will also call about 30 BTN basketball games as well as some yet-to-be-determined college basketball games on either Fox or FX.
Hopefully for the sake of the majority of MMA fans who came to loathe the much-maligned Renzo Gracie BJJ blue belt’s oblivious Strikeforce commentary, his other duties will keep his made-up mug off of the UFC-related broadcasts, that are said to include pre and post-fight shows and a weekly or daily UFC magazine-type series.
If UFC president Dana White has his way, Johnson, who he called “bush league” for the way he handled the brawl in Nashville last year, won’t be allowed near any of his shows.
Here’s what White had to say about Johnson’s “Sometimes these things happen in MMA” remarks in an interview with Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole:
“When have you seen anything remotely close to that happen at a UFC event?” White asked. “What kind of ridiculous commentary was that? That was an idiotic thing to say. And then he was yelling at them to stop, telling them they are on national television. That was just another example of how bush league they are.”
UFC color analyst Joe Rogan is also not a fan of GuJo.
(Video courtesy of YouTube/Romain1212)
I’d rather see Mauro Ranallo get the gig than Gus and I’d much rather see Chael Sonnen host his own UFC show. Maybe he could do double-duty as a political analyst on Fox News.