There will be three commentators working cageside during UFC 273 on Saturday night, Jon Anik, Joe Rogan and Paul Felder.
The trio has been confirmed by MMA Fighting, who spoke with UFC officials about the team.
Anik is the promotion’s lead play-by-play announcer and has been a staple of UFC Fight Nights and pay-per-views for a decade.
Rogan, the UFC’s longest-tenured commentator, will also call alongside retired UFC lightweight contender Felder. The two men will work in the color analyst role. Anik, Rogan and Felder haven’t worked together for a numbered event since Fight Island’s UFC 267 in October 2021.
UFC 273 takes place on April 9 at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. See the full fight card below:
Featherweight Championship: Alexander Volkanovski vs. Chan Sung Jung
Bantamweight Championship: Aljamain Sterling vs. Petr Yan
Welterweight: Gilbert Burns vs. Khamzat Chimaev
Women’s Strawweight: Mackenzie Dern vs. Tecia Torres
Lightweight: Vinc Pichel vs. Mark Madsen
Welterweight: Ian Garry vs. Darian Weeks
Heavyweight: Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Marcin Tybura
Women’s Bantamweight: Aspen Ladd vs. Raquel Pennington
Welterweight: Mickey Gall vs. Mike Malott
Early Preliminary Card
Heavyweight: Alexey Oleynik vs. Jared Vanderaa
Middleweight: Anthony Hernandez vs. Josh Fremd
Women’s Strawweight: Kay Hansen vs. Piera Rodriguez
Bantamweight: Julio Arce vs. Daniel Santos
Anik Stood Up for Rogan Amid Commentary Criticisms
Rogan doesn’t work as many events as he did in the past. Rogan used to be featured during every UFC event, but throughout the years and as more color commentators have come on board, Rogan has reduced his role with the promotion. Now, the popular podcaster only works during select United States-based pay-per-view events.
Last year, Anik went to bat for Rogan after the color commentator was hit by a plethora of criticism by fans. It was specifically aimed at him fixating on certain fighters and “how he handles himself during the broadcast, MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck said to Anik during an interview.
“Sometimes it’s hard for me to assess the totality of a broadcast right after the fact,” Anik said. “And really, I would need to, not unlike a fan or media member, go back and fine-tooth comb the thing to address specific criticisms. I can tell you that for me, I do try to take that constructive criticism and employ it in the next show. I mean, for all the noise that’s out there, there is certainly some constructive stuff that I think you can take to the next show.”
Anik Said Rogan Has ‘Never Been Happier’ Commentating for the UFC
Anik continued, talking about how happy Rogan is working cageside, especially because of the dynamics of having another color analyst beside him.
“I have seen some of that [criticism],” Anik continued. “I think that the social media space after these live events can be a tough place for us to sort of engage and habitate. But I think for Joe, there are a lot of different factors. I think he is never been happier in that broadcast booth. And I hate to put words in his mouth, but I really think he enjoys the dynamic. He was in a two-man booth forever, where he was just working with a play-by-play guy, he couldn’t bounce off of a fighter.”
“I think it’s been an adjustment for all of us,” Anik said about transitioning from a two-person booth to a three-person squad. “I mean, my job, as I’ve said to you is a totally different thing in a three-man booth versus a two-man booth in terms of the real estate that I have, in terms of what is asked of me.
“But no broadcast is the same. And I can assure you big picture like we do look at everything that people say, and we ain’t trying to get worse, like we’re trying to get better.”