Jimmy Smith, who served as the color commentator for years for Bellator MMA, appeared on a recent edition of the Joe Rogan Experience to discuss what led to the two separating.
“It’s not a Bellator thing,” Smith said (thanks to MMA Fighting for transcribing). “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.’ When they come to you and say they want a different deal, it’s never – when you’re girlfriend comes to you and says she wants to talk it’s never, ‘I don’t give enough (expletive).’ They never say that. It’s always bad. It’s always bad.
“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.”
Smith worked with several different play-by-play callers of his nine-year run with the promotion following a brief fighting career himself.
Rogan, who has been working fewer and fewer UFC dates as color commentator, stated that he “tried to get Jimmy Smith hired by the UFC four years ago.”
“I called Dana White about you,” he added. “(Smith) 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, a real fan. Go get him.”
Smith stated that four years ago the “timing didn’t work out,” but Rogan continued to push for him to join the UFC now, saying that Bellator “(expletive) 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.”