Laura Sanko ‘incredibly honored’ to be first female color commentator in modern UFC history

LAS VEGAS – Laura Sanko is hours from making history.

At UFC Fight Night 218 on Saturday night, Sanko will become the first female color commentator in the modern UFC era to call an official UFC event. It’s a big moment for Sanko and for women in the MMA industry.

“It’s surreal, and it’s awesome,” Sanko told reporters on Friday. “I’m incredibly honored to be here, and I’m just grateful that the UFC had the belief in me to give me this opportunity in an elevated role. Simultaneously, I’m glad that they made me earn it because as cool as it is to break the mold, or I guess make a new mold, the UFC is very much a meritocracy.

“Everything here is earned and nothing is given, regardless of gender.”


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Since 2016, Sanko has been a part of UFC broadcasts, initially working as a backstage reporter before joining the commentary team on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2017. Although grateful to be a commentator on DWCS, Sanko always had the goal of calling a UFC event, and tomorrow, she’ll realize that goal she set out to accomplish in 2022.

With one goal down, Sanko has other things in targets in mind. However, she wants to stay in the present and focus on tomorrow only.

“I am a very goal-oriented person, but truly right now I’m focused on what’s right in front of me,” Sanko said. “Because now that I want into this new arena, I have a lot of proving here now too, and that’s all I’m thinking about.

“Of course, I have goals to continue to elevate my role, but that’s way, way down the line and I want to earn my stripes.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 218.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie