Rogan Discusses Jimmy Smith’s Bellator Firing
In the last week of 2017, Bellator MMA parted ways with long-time color analyst Jimmy Smith. In the statement, released in conjunction with broadcast partner the Paramount Network, Bellator stated the company and Smith “mutually agreed to part ways,” and Tuesday on The Joe Rogan Experience MMA Show, Smith spoke with long-time UFC color commentator Joe Rogan about his departure, agreeing that the split was not acrimonious.
“It’s not a Bellator thing,” said Smith.
“They were great to work with. They were great about the whole break up thing. What happened was, I had a deal with an option year and 2018 was my option year and when I was in Verona, New York doing the Verona show, my boss sat me down and said, ‘We’re not gonna renew 2018, we want a different deal.’”
“When they come to you and say they want a different deal, it’s never – when you’re girlfriend comes to you and says she wants to talk it’s never, ‘I don’t give enough bl**jobs.’ They never say that. It’s always bad. It’s always bad.”
“So that was it. When they were like, ‘We want to change the deal around,’ I was like, ‘Okay,’ and they did make an honest effort to keep me. They really tried, but they just didn’t make an offer that was worth me coming back. That was pretty much the deal so it’s kind of comparatively amicable.”
Smith had served as Bellator’s chief color commentator for nearly a decade, and widely considered to be one of the sharpest minds in MMA commentary. Smith also brought knowledge from inside the cage with a six-fight professional MMA career and even more practical knowledge as a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt. At the moment, Smith’s seat will reportedly be filled by a combination of Chael Sonnen and Frank Mir, Smith was suggested by Rogan to come join him at the UFC, a position Rogan says he already suggested to Dana White four years ago.
“I called Dana White about you, how many years ago, like four?” said Rogan.
“I tried to get Jimmy Smith hired by the UFC four years ago. I was like, ‘Dude, you want better people, you want more people? Hire that f*cking guy. He knows what he’s doing, he’s excited, and he loves the sport. I was telling him you’re a great guy, he’s genuine, he’s a real fan and he’s f*cking good at it. Go get him.’”
Flattered, Smith said that the “timing didn’t work out then” but suggested that things could be different now that he is unemployed. That’s good news for Rogan who seems positively elated at the idea of having Smith in the UFC alongside him.
“You f**ked up, Bellator,” said Rogan.
“You f**cked up. I’ve been telling everybody that Jimmy Smith’s the best out there and you let him go. That’s a huge error on their part. I would be thrilled if somehow or another they were able to work it out where Jimmy Smith was at the UFC. That would be what I would like to see.”
“We shall see,” responded Smith. “We shall see how that goes.”