Skip to main content

Combate Global voice Jimmy Smith says Colby Covington crossed line with Jon Anik threats

Combate Global play-by-play voice Jimmy Smith believes that Colby Covington threatening physical violence against his UFC contemporary Jon Anik crossed a line, and the promotion should make it clear to the former interim champion that is not acceptable.

UFC welterweight star Colby Covington produced headlines last week when he aired some grievances about play-by-play announcer Jon Anik to MMA Fighting. The long-time voice of UFC broadcasts publicly threw his support behind Belal Muhammad being the next challenger to champion Leon Edwards, following his win at UFC 286.

However, “Chaos” was not thrilled with a notable figure like Anik pushing for a different fighter when he is reportedly next in line for a title fight with the welterweight king. In revealing his displeasure, he made some serious threats against the 44-year-old veteran MMA announcer.

Related: UFC tonight – Get watch time and odds for the next UFC card

“Jon Anik, dude, I don’t want your kids to grow up without a dad. Just realize you live in Boca, I live in Miami, motherf***er. You’re not too far from me. So you better shut your f***ing mouth,” Covington said.

Fighters being unhappy with certain opinions on broadcasts is nothing new, however, Covington took things to an all-new level. A level that one former UFC announcer believes was too far.

Jimmy Smith is one of the most well-traveled broadcasters in combat sports. Having worked for Bellator, UFC, and WWE before joining Combate Global in March. He has dealt with situations in the past where athletes were displeased with his views. but in his experience, the issues were manufactured to promote fights and didn’t include physical threats against him. When it comes to Covington, he believes the welterweight star went too far by insinuating violence against a UFC employee that should be off-limits.

“When people ask what’s over the line for a fighter, I would say anything that involves someone who didn’t sign up to do this,” Smith told Sportsnaut. “Their wife, their kids, they didn’t sign up to be a target for your bulls***. Once you involve somebody that does not fight for money, who didn’t sign up to be threatened, that’s an issue.”

The Combate Global voice feels that the threat reached such a level that the UFC needs to step in and make it clear to the welterweight contender to knock off such rhetoric now and in the future.

“You threaten on-air talent, then you have an issue, because you can’t even [say] I’m hyping up the fight. You’re not going to fight Jon Anik,” says Smith. “I don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes, [but] that’s when someone in the UFC should go, ‘hey, don’t do that.’ Then you start getting into legal issues. [Then Anik goes] I’m not going to call his fights because he threatened me. Anik’s a pro and that probably won’t be an issue, but it could be. It just leads to a lot of problems that don’t need to happen.”

Jimmy Smith on move to Combate Global: ‘It just kind of worked out at the right time’

combate global, jimmy smith
Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

This month, Combate Global announced that the veteran announcer was joining their English-language broadcast team. The move was the most notable addition the company has ever made to that side of their broadcasts. However, Jimmy Smith says, bringing his talents to Combate Global was just another instance of the musical chairs that is MMA broadcasting.

“I live in South Florida, {Combate Global’s broadcasted] in Miami. It’s really close, I don’t have to travel anywhere, [and] on a plane every weekend. It just kind of worked out at the right time. People don’t get how this business works. It’s like musical chairs. Someone has to stand up for you to sit down. There’s got to be something available. … How’d this opportunity come about? They needed somebody and I was available.”

– Jimmy Smith

There is no denying Smith is a great addition to the MMA promotion that has built a strong fan base among Spanish-speaking combat sports fans. While he downplayed how impactful his addition will be, he is still a name and voice English-speaking MMA fans are familiar with, and he can serve as a way to bridge that gap with fans who may think Combate Global is just for Latino fight fans.

When asked what Combate Global must do to pull in fans who watch UFC, Bellator, or PFL, he explained what makes the promotion unique, and how it caters to that niche of fans who are simply looking for an exciting scrap.

“What I think [Combate Global does] right is they do encourage what I call Mexican style fighting. … They have this way of matching guys up for maximum impact. … The selling point is not look at this expensive free agent we spent millions of dollars on, it’s look at this guy knocking this other dude’s head off. They’re really good at matching up. That’s really their niche with these Latin fighters that have a lot of pride.”

– Jimmy Smith

Combate Global broadcasts can be found in English on Paramount+, and in Spanish on Univision.