A little piece of history will be made at UFC Vegas 68 when Laura Sanko pulls on the headset to take up color commentary duties at the UFC Apex.
Sanko, a former fighter for Invicta FC, started her broadcast career as an in-cage interviewer for Invicta, then later as a backstage reporter for the UFC at UFC on Fox in 2016.
Sanko’s talent for the broadcast side of the business was showcased on Dana White’s Contender Series, where she took on a variety of roles, including backstage reporter, Octagon announcer and occasional color commentator. She also became a staple of UFC live event programming, adding expert insight and infectious humor to the promotion’s broadcasts and shoulder programming.
Now Sanko, who has made no secret of her desire to eventually call fights, will get her dream opportunity as she takes up a color commentary position for a UFC show this weekend for the event in Las Vegas, which is headlined by a heavyweight battle between Derrick Lewis and Serghei Spivac.
Sanko’s appearance as a color commentator marks the first occasion the promotion has had a female color commentator in the Zuffa era, with the news officially announced via a UFC press release.
“Taking the next step to join the UFC commentary team has been a goal of mine since I began my broadcast career,” said Sanko.
“It is an honor to walk in the footprint of Kathy Long 30 years after her appearance on UFC 1. I consider it a true privilege to be part of the team that is a voice to our incredible fans, communicating the fighting art of each man and woman who steps inside the UFC Octagon.”
UFC president Dana White heaped praise on Sanko ahead of her official UFC color commentary debut.
“I can’t think of anyone better to be the first female color commentator for the modern UFC era than Laura,” he said.
“She has worked incredibly hard to prove herself and get to this position and I couldn’t be prouder to have her calling the action.”
Those sentiments were echoed by the UFC’s vice president and coordinating producer Zach Candito, who said, “Laura brings passion, enthusiasm and an undeniable work ethic to all of her roles with the UFC.
“There is no doubt she’ll do the same in this elevated opportunity as the first-ever female color commentator at the UFC during the Zuffa era.
“We are thrilled to add her to our talented stable of commentators and her expert analysis promises to be a great addition to UFC broadcasts moving forward.”