Ex-UFC fighter Jamie Varner scrutinizes ESPN broadcaster Laura Sanko over commentary

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Jamie Varner, a former UFC fighter who won a championship while at World Extreme Cagefighting, slammed an ESPN commentator who was calling an event Saturday night.

Varner came after Laura Sanko in a series of posts on X, which have now been deleted. Sanko was on the call for UFC Vegas 89.


Jamie Varner weighs in

Jamie Varner during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in event at the Phoenix Convention Center on December 12, 2014, in Phoenix, Arizona. (Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

“(Laura Sanko) is ruining the fights by talking so much,” he wrote. “Leave the commentary to the people that have actually fought. A female UFC fighter should have that job, she is just annoying, and it’s obvious she is trying so hard and doesn’t know what she is talking about.

“(Laura Sanko) sucks so bad at commentating. She’s a try hard that speaks about things she knows nothing about. Talking about blast doubles and how tiring it could be in the first round of the fight, like what do you know about any of those things? Stay in your lane, Try Hard.”

But Senko, a former MMA competitor herself who fought in Invicta FC and Titan FC, didn’t go down without a fight.

Laura Sanko on the broadcast

John Gooden and Laura Sanko anchor the broadcast during the Road to UFC Finals at UFC APEX on February 3, 2024, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


“(Jamie Varner) you and I actually fought on the same card in 2011 for Titan FC,” she wrote on X. We warmed up next to each other in the basement of the Memorial Hall building in KCK. My best friend braided your hair because you couldn’t find anyone to do it. I remember thinking how cool it was at the time to be on a card with you. I had followed your career in the WEC and was a little star struck to be honest.

“It’s ok that you don’t like my commentary, but respectfully, I’ve been a part of this game and training since 2006. I’m a brown belt in Jiu Jitsu and while I can’t compare my career to yours I have in fact fought. And if ufc had a 105 division I would have fought a lot longer.”

Varner denied attacking Sanko, adding on X that he was just commenting on her broadcast skills.

Jamie Vaner vs Drew Dober

Jamie Varner punches Drew Dober in their lightweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at the at U.S. Airways Center on December 13, 2014, in Phoenix, Arizona. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

“Where did I attack her character? I think she sucks at commentating but I bet she is a great human. Be a good person and sucking at your job are two different things. Thanks for playing though,” he wrote.


Varner was 21-11 in his MMA career.

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