When I think of mixed martial arts, I think of one man.
Stephen A Smith.
He’s an experienced MMA veteran. I remember his commentary for Royce Gracie vs. Gerard Gordeau. He was there when Matt Hughes picked up Frank Trigg and walked him across the octagon. His coverage of Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort was second-to-none.
Just kidding. Stephen A doesn’t know anything about mixed martial arts. But apparently he’s gonna be on this weekend’s broadcast for McGregor/Poirier 3 (via Mike Bohn at MMA Junkie):
There will be two analyst desks for the mega-event, with veteran broadcaster Michael Eaves set to anchor the primary unit. He’ll be joined by former UFC champions Michael Bisping and Dominick Cruz, as well as ESPN talking head and “First Take” co-host Stephen A. Smith.
Karyn Bryant will anchor the secondary desk, where she’ll be joined by veteran boxing analyst and “First Take” co-host Max Kellerman.
See, now at least Max came from the boxing world. He at least has some credibility with combat sports. Stephen A, on the other hand, couldn’t tell you the different between a rear naked choke and an arm triangle. I remember when ESPN first acquired the UFC rights and they promoted Cejudo vs. Dillashaw and Stephen A was on the desk talking all sorts of nonsense. Thankfully this is just an analyst desk and we’re gonna get Joe Rogan and Daniel Cormier with Jon Anil cageside.
I’m a Stephen A guy, but ESPN has to understand that you can’t spread him too thin. Let him do NFL, NBA, etc. Just “play the hits.” He’s not a mixed martial arts guy and it’s probably insulting for MMA experts and other qualified personalities when they find out that he’s gonna be sitting next to Bisping and Cruz. Outrageous!