EXCLUSIVE: Q & Anik with Jon Anik on New Role Heading into UFC 208

Jon AnikQ & Anik is an article featured exclusively at MMAOddsBreaker.com that goes 5 rounds with UFC commentator Jon Anik offering his unique insight on some of the biggest UFC cards of the year. This is the last Q & Anik due to his new role as the lead play-by-play voice of the UFC. 1st Round Q: First of all, it will be hard to top that unbelievable Super Bowl comeback win for your New England Patriots, but you will be making your debut as Mike Goldberg’s replacement in the role of lead play-by-play man on Pay-Per-View events this Saturday at UFC 208 in Brooklyn. Can you discuss what this means to you personally and professionally? Anik: It means a lot. I had the chance to work UFC 155 back in 2012 on just a few days’ notice, but now I’m really being given the chance to be the lead play-by-play voice on PPV, which is exciting. It’s been a crazy five-plus years with the UFC, traveling the world and working very hard to learn this roster and increase my knowledge of the sport. I’ve spent hundreds of nights away from my family, all with the hopes that I’d eventually be given this opportunity. So now, I have to go out and prove to the UFC that they made the right decision. 2nd Round Q: How has the transition gone with Brian Stann recently, working more in the play-by-play role while prepping for this opportunity? Anik: Brian has become one of my best friends in the world, so the transition has been easy and seamless. We spend a lot of time together off the air, and I’ve gotten think that helps our chemistry when we crack the mic. We’ve had the chance to work a lot together, and Brian’s approach to preparation and research is second to none. I’ve had the chance to work with five-six different analysts over the last year, and they all bring so much to the table. We have a lot of talented analysts, and my job is to make them shine. The biggest challenge of the transition for me has just been the added volume of shows. It’s been a crazy first quarter. 3rd Round Q: Can you talk briefly about replacing Goldie along with the UFC’s decision to move in a different direction under new ownership? Anik: Big shoes to fill, for sure. I was a senior in high school when Goldie called his first UFC show. He is my friend, and there is a lot of mutual respect there. I have a ton of admiration for what he has accomplished. He is a Hall-of-Fame voice, and I’m sure we will hear from him soon. I’ve just got to stay true to who I am and my style because they didn’t bring me in to be someone I’m not. As far as the UFC’s decision goes, I really can’t speak too much to that here. But Dana White is still in charge of production, and we are still executing his vision. I met one of the new owners in Houston, but I have had no communication with them when it comes to the execution or production of the show. Dana is still calling the shots. 4th Round Q: What do you think it will be like to work more alongside Joe Rogan, and what can you disclose about the UFC’s plan moving forward? Will there be additional commentators brought into the loop for future events, or are you pretty much the guy? Much-deserved by the way! Anik: Thank you. I’ve actually worked with Joe three times in the past, so hopefully we can pick up where we left off. He is just an absolute legend and one of the most intelligent, interesting and well-rounded people I’ve met in my life. He has an infectious energy about him and, as a play-by-play guy, it’s something that you can’t help but feed off of. I’m honored to have the chance to work with Joe more regularly, and it’s my job to make his life on fight night as easy as possible. I’m not sure what the plan is going forward, but we will have UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier working with us at UFC 208. DC is one of my best friends in the game, and we’ve worked together a lot. He is as naturally gifted a TV analyst as I’ve been around, and it’ll be great to have him as part of our three-man booth this weekend. 5th Round Q: Last but not least, where were you when the Patriots won, and how did you react to Tom Brady’s fifth Super Bowl title? A lot of people seem to think he should retire as well, but two more rings would give New England more than the Pittsburgh Steelers. Can you describe Brady’s incredible will to win and what the haters should understand most about the greatest quarterback of all-time? Anik: I flew back from Houston to South Florida so I could watch the game with my family. It was really painful and not fun to watch for most of the game. I must’ve lost a few years off of my life with all of those anxious moments, but that’s a W! Couldn’t be happier, honestly, and can’t recall a greater sports moment as a Boston fan. The TB12 retirement talk is crazy. It’s also ignorant, if you’ve been paying attention to what he’s been saying, not to mention the level of his play. Every decision he makes in life is done with the hopes of playing the game he loves for as long as he can. Brady doesn’t care about going out on top. He just wants to play football, just like Bill Belichick just wants to coach and be around football. They love football and Brady doesn’t want to give it up. I see no reason why he can’t be a Top 5 QB for another three-four seasons. As for the myriad Patriots and Brady haters out there, tough week for you guys! I just think, not unlike a lot of athletes and even broadcasters and many in the public eye, Brady is perpetually misunderstood. People think they know who or what he is, but they don’t. One of Tom’s first cousins is a good friend of mine, and the way Tom treats and cares for his family is special. Everything about the guy is special, honestly. He is an amazing teammate, and you can’t say that about every star quarterback. That says a lot about his makeup and the way he was raised. I just think overwhelming success inevitably breeds some hate, and the Pats have become more hated than the New York Yankees. It’s unfortunate, but thankfully there is a parade through the streets of Boston today! Disclaimer: Mr. Anik is contractually prevented from wagering on UFC events. His opinions posted here are for information and entertainment purposes only.

Written by Matty

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