Jimmy Smith is making the jump from analyst to play-by-play voice – but it won’t be in MMA.
According to a report from Wrestling Observer, Smith will debut with the WWE Raw announcing team Monday alongside Matthew Polinsky (as ring name “Corey Graves”) and Bryan Kelly (as ring name (“Byron Saxton”).
Smith has been a recent panelist on the WWE’s NXT broadcasts. He’ll take over a role vacated by Adnan Virk, a former ESPN broadcaster who had been in the spot for less than two months.
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Smith, a former MMA fighter, was Bellator’s primary broadcast analyst from 2010-2017. It came as somewhat of a surprise in the MMA world when Bellator chose to pass on re-upping his contract and instead brought in former referee John McCarthy as lead analyst.
It didn’t take Smith long to find a new gig. He signed with Bellator’s chief rival, the UFC, in January 2018. But that commentating role lasted only that year. A few months later, Smith started working with Invicta FC.
The bulk of Smith’s broadcasting work these days comes in the form of his “Unlocking the Cage” show, which airs weekdays on SiriusXM’s Fight Nation.