For over a decade now, Jon Anik has been a central voice in the UFC but he says his run with the organisation may soon come to an end.
Anik, who took play-by-play duties with the UFC in 2012 after joining the company from ESPN, said on the podcast he fronts alongside former UFC fighter and commentator Kenny Florian that he is nearing his limit when it comes to negative fan interactions online — particularly after last weekend’s UFC 297 main event where Dricus du Plessis outpointed Sean Strickland to win the promotion’s middleweight crown.
“I am growing tired of this MMA space a little bit, and just the morass of negativity when there is a close fight, because even if you and I both thought Dricus du Plessis won the fight, we try to present that information respectfully,” Anik said on the Anik and Florian Podcast, as noted by MMA Fighting.
“When I go on to X (formerly Twitter), or when I go to our YouTube comments, it seems like a lot of these fans are just in attack mode,”: Anik explained. “I don’t know if these fans are casual fans or not, but I appreciate the passion, but I’m getting to a point where at 45 years of age where I don’t know how much time I have left in this MMA space, because if I go do pro football, like, I’m not necessarily going to be dealing with this lowest common denominator all the time.
“I don’t know, I just feel like there’s a lot of malice and disrespect from the fan base,” he added. “We can disagree, don’t take it from me, Demetrious Johnson and Kenny Florian thought ‘DDP’ won the fight. I’ve just been very off put with the negativity that has permeated my feed since Saturday night, and I’m just not sure how much longer I have in this space, honestly.”
Anik continued, saying that Joe Rogan’s fame — and to a similar, albeit lesser extent Daniel Cormier’s — has meant that they limit their interactions with fans online, but Anik said that he felt it important to engage with the community. Or, at least, he did.
“I try to be that accessible conduit for the fans, and what I’m finding is that 90 percent of what I am sifting through is negative, and a lot of those comments are said in an antagonistic, attacking type of way,” he said. “I’ve got three kids and just better things to do with my time.
“But again, I’m trying to be accessible, especially after a fight like this, I want to be able to engage, but when I see the venom that some people are coming at us with, it just makes me disengage. So I guess maybe my thesis statement should be if you see me disengage and not be as omnipresent and as accessible on X, it’s because the fan base is starting to turn me off. [ESPN reporter] Marc Raimondi had a very thoughtful post about this on Instagram, this sport is getting worse by the minute in terms of all the negativity in the air.”
He concluded: “But those of you suggesting that there’s any bias, or you don’t like me, well, you’ll probably get your f*cking wish come 2026 because honestly, at this point, I’ve had it.”