Laura Sanko will appear on the UFC Vegas 68 broadcast for the first time in color commentary for an Ultimate Fighting Championship broadcast.
Advocacy officials made the announcement in a press release issued Monday.
Sanko, 40, competed as an amateur in the early 2010s before turning pro in 2013 and winning a single match against Cassie Robb. She then moved to broadcasting, first for Invicta FC and later under the Zuffa banner.
She has maintained a high profile in recent years, commenting Dana White’s Contenders Series Also interview competitor and UFC President Dana White in each episode of the show.
Sanko will be the first female commentator of color on a UFC broadcast since UFC 1, when kickboxer Kathy Long appeared on the stand. Since then, no female analysts have appeared on the promo’s broadcasts, though several female analysts served as hosts and analysts before and after the show, while others appeared in backstage interview sessions.
“Being the next step on the UFC commentary team has been a goal of mine since I started my broadcast career,” Laura Sanko said during a news conference Monday. “I’m honored to be walking in Kathy Long’s footsteps 30 years after she appeared at UFC 1. I consider it a true honor to be a part of the team and it’s the voice of our incredible fans that conveys everyone’s The Art of Fighting and the Women Who Walk Into the UFC Octagon.”
Sanko first appeared in front of UFC audiences in 2016, when the promotion was still airing on FOX.
“I can’t think of anyone better suited than Laura to be the first female commentator of color in the modern UFC era,” Dana White was quoted as saying in Monday’s statement. “She worked so hard to prove herself and get this position, and I couldn’t be more proud to have her make the move.”
UFC Vegas 68 (UFC Fight Night 218) will take place on Saturday, February 4, 2023 at the Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. The card features heavyweights Derek Lewis and Sergey Spivac.