When Stipe Miocic and Fabricio Werdum met up in the Octagon for their title fight, I was fortunate enough to be able to realize one of my dreams when I was asked to fill a commentary/analyst role for the action. It was my first time on the mic in a capacity other than being interviewed, and I loved it.
FOX Sports has asked me to reprise that analyst role again for this weekend’s fight card, specifically for the Lawler-Woodley fight, but I’ll also be doing some analysis of some of the other bouts, too. I think it’s pretty cool that I get to help break down the main event as it plays out, and I’ll get to put those observations to good use, as I’ll likely be fighting the winner of that contest.
The first time I did this, I was so nervous to get out in front of the camera and break down the fights with people like Kenny Florian, who’s been in the fight game a very long time, and Daniel Cormier, who’s filled this role and done fight analysis and commentary numerous times. You get out there with the big dogs, and it’s easy to be overwhelmed.
They came to me and said, “I want you to talk to us just as if you’re talking to your buddies at the bar,” and that really helped me out. If you’re not careful, you can side tracked or start stuttering. Even though it was my first time, and I was nervous, I had a great time and was happy they asked me to come back.
I’ve been getting myself prepared this time around by watching lots of fight footage so I can acquaint myself with various styles and patterns. One of the guys that I know fairly well, that happens to be on the card, is Justin Scoggins. He trained with us for many years, since he was three years old. He’s in Spartanburg at another gym now, but we still stay in touch. He’s a great guy, and calling the action for his fight will be pretty special since I already know him and his style so well.
I’ll be putting extra effort in my research for the headliner, though. The outcome of that fight is a potential determiner of my own career future, so I’ll be taking great care with it and studying it from every possible angle.
I should probably clarify something about the winner of Lawler-Woodley. If Lawler wins, I think I’ll probably get the next title shot, but if Woodley gets the W, Robbie will probably have dibs on a rematch. It just depends on how beat up he is.
I think that’s the whole idea, though, and it’s why they’re bringing me out to do this commentary work. They know I’ll probably be next to face off against one of these guys, so I’m going to work my butt off to knock this one out of the park.
I’ll also get the perk of gaining a greater understanding of what makes these guys tick, how they fight, where they’re strong, where they’re weak, just every subtle nuance. No stone will be left unturned.