Jon Anik Fed Up With Level Of Negativity In The MMA Space – “At This Point, I’ve Had It”

Jon Anik has come to be known as one of the best play-by-play commentators to ever work in MMA, but the toxicity of the fan base has him contemplating a lane change.

This past weekend, UFC 297 sparked a lot of controversy with the narrowly margined split decision middleweight title match victory for Dricus Du Plessis over Sean Strickland. While it would be hard to argue that anyone got ‘robbed’ in this main event, it seems many are still making a case for just that.

Anik recently touched on the subject (via Anik and Florian Podcast) after receiving online criticism over agreeing with the judges’ and scoring the match for Du Plessis.

“I am growing tired of this MMA space a little bit, and just the morass of negativity when there is a close fight, because even if you and I both thought Dricus du Plessis won the fight, we try to present that information respectfully,” Anik said. “When I go on to X, or when I go to our YouTube comments, it seems like a lot of these fans are just in attack mode. I don’t know if these fans are casual fans or not, but I appreciate the passion, but I’m getting to a point where at 45 years of age where I don’t know how much time I have left in this MMA space, because if I go do pro football, like, I’m not necessarily going to be dealing with this lowest common denominator all the time.

“I don’t know, I just feel like there’s a lot of malice and disrespect from the fan base. We can disagree, don’t take it from me, Demetrious Johnson and Kenny Florian thought ‘DDP’ won the fight. I’ve just been very off put with the negativity that has permeated my feed since Saturday night, and I’m just not sure how much longer I have in this space, honestly.”

(h/t MMAFighting)

While Anik is typically someone who is accessible to the fans online and always wanting to engage, the recent insults that have been flying his way on social media has made him want to take a step back.

Between podcasting and working ringside at the UFC events, the long time play-by-play commentator wants to do his job a specific way, but if this way continues to made difficult by negativity in the community, then it would not be any surprise if Anik decided to jump ship.

“I try to be accessible and engage with fans, especially on X, and some of my broadcast partners—Joe Rogan chief among them—their profile is so high, and they are so famous that they can’t possibly engage with the fans on a regular basis,” Anik said. “Even somebody like Daniel Cormier. So you’ve got to post and ghost a little bit. But for me, I try to be that accessible conduit for the fans, and what I’m finding is that 90 percent of what I am sifting through is negative, and a lot of those comments are said in an antagonistic, attacking type of way. I’ve got three kids and just better things to do with my time.

“But again, I’m trying to be accessible, especially after a fight like this, I want to be able to engage, but when I see the venom that some people are coming at us with, it just makes me disengage. So I guess maybe my thesis statement should be if you see me disengage and not be as omnipresent and as accessible on X, it’s because the fan base is starting to turn me off. [ESPN reporter] Marc Raimondi had a very thoughtful post about this on Instagram, this sport is getting worse by the minute in terms of all the negativity in the air.”

“A lot of fans are suggesting to me to not even engage with these people, but gosh, how many comments have we heard about ‘To be the champion, you’ve got to beat the champion?’” Anik said. “So I would throw it back to you fans who think that Kenny and I are not understanding what you’re saying, or are dismissive of what you are saying. So are you folks suggesting that for a judge like Sal D’Amato in a close round, say Round 3, he should give it to Strickland because he’s the champion? Because if that’s what you are suggesting, that is absolutely inane. And take it from [Severe MMA reporter] Seán Sheehan, when the fight starts, neither man is the champion, and that’s the way you need to judge the fight.

“But those of you suggesting that there’s any bias, or you don’t like me, well, you’ll probably get your f****** wish come 2026 because honestly, at this point, I’ve had it.”

(h/t MMAFighting)

Anik began working with the UFC in 2011, and since then has been a part of almost every noteworthy event that the organization has produced in the last 14 years.

If the UFC lost Anik over the negativity that has spread itself across the fan base, it would be nothing short of tragic, and would dramatically impact the quality of the UFC’s product.

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