The Bellator MMA announce team will have a distinctly different look in 2018.
In a joint statement issued by the promotion and Paramount Network, it was announced that longtime Bellator MMA analyst Jimmy Smith will no longer be working with the company. The full statement is as follows:
After a long and successful relationship, Jimmy Smith and Bellator have mutually agreed to part ways.
Jimmy is one of the finest combat sports announcers of our time. He has played an integral role in the growth of Bellator as it has evolved into the successful global franchise it is today.
The Paramount Network sports production team and Bellator MMA would like to thank Jimmy for his great work behind the mic over the years and wish him all the best in the future.
Details on Bellator's 2018 on-air team will be announced shortly.
This past year, Smith worked with both Mauro Ranallo and Mike Goldberg. According to MMAFighting.com, Chael Sonnen and Frank Mir could fill Smith’s role at various times. Smith began his Bellator MMA tenure paired with Sean Wheelock during the Bjorn Rebney era. When Scott Coker was hired as the new organization president, Wheelock was replaced by Boston Celtics play-by-play voice Sean Grande.
Grande left Bellator this summer to focus on his basketball duties, and that’s when the California-based promotion hired Ranallo and Goldberg, who switched off from event to event.
"I am very grateful to the entire Bellator organization and fans for an amazing and unforgettable nine years,” Smith said. “As I move on to the next phase in my career, I want to wish all of the fighters, producers, and Bellator staff the absolute best."