Laura Sanko’s career goal is pretty clear: She wants to become the first female color commentator to join the UFC cageside announce team.
Sanko has flourished in the media game, reporting for Invicta FC, FOX Sports and now ESPN. She is seen backstage on every episode of Dana White’s Contender Series on Tuesday nights when the show is in season, but Sanko wants to take things to the next level.
A former professional MMA fighter, Sanko sees herself capable of contributing to the analysis and coverage of the fight game in a way that no female reporter has been able to.
“I would do it in a heartbeat,” Sanko recently told MMA Junkie Radio. “I would do it in a heartbeat because that’s my dream. If I’m being honest, and that’s my goal, and it’s a tough case to make because I don’t have the resume that the UFC fighters do, and that’s who they really like to use in those roles. But there aren’t hundreds of women that have fought and who are also – this is the thing: I see these arguments online. ‘Oh she beat this person, she beat that person,’ and I’ll flat out say X, Y or Z women has more fights than I do, she’s really fun and interesting, and I’m a huge fan, but talking on television and doing live analysis during fights is a different animal.”
Sanko understands that it could be difficult to get that opportunity, considering the UFC mainly has added the likes of former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, Hall of Famer Michael Bisping, former dual champ Daniel Cormier, and lightweight contender Paul Felder, whom all have high profiles and plenty of experience inside the octagon.
Still, she’s confident in her ability to hold her own.
“It’s not even can you articulate the moves; it’s a lot of the stuff that happens behind the scenes in terms of the prep work and doing things appropriately,” Sanko said. “There’s just so much more that goes into the job that I do feel like I’m capable of doing, it’s just can I get past the hump of – here’s the thing: I don’t really fit any mold. But my point is they’ve never had a reporter in the past with fight experience and who I think over the years I’ve been able to build at least – probably among the diehards – some amount of reputation for knowing what I’m talking about.”