Laura Sanko greatly enjoys her position as a reporter on UFC broadcasts, but she has grander aspirations.

Sanko, a former MMA fighter who has broken into the media side of the game through Invicta FC, the UFC’s former broadcast partner FOX, and now ESPN, said she dreams of doing more as her non-fight career progresses.

At this point, Sanko’s obligations consist largely of backstage interviews, roving reporter duties, social media, and more. She’ll find herself in the commentary booth for small portions of time, too, assisting those in the booth with information on fighter walkouts.

Sanko hopes the latter could ultimately mark a transition into a full-time color commentator role.

“My dream would be to eventually be part of that booth,” Sanko told MMA Junkie. “One of the things that’s kind of allowed me to succeed in this job despite no broadcasting training whatsoever, is I do really understand the fight game. Over the years, I feel like behind the scenes, in production meeting and even just hanging out, I’ve been able to kind of demonstrate to all of the guys, whether it’s Paul (Felder) or Dominick (Cruz) or (Michael) Bisping, that I really do what the hell I’m talking about. My hope is that one day I can have a little bit, even more of a voice there. But any amount of time I can spend there talking to those guys is pretty awesome.”

Sanko understands that breaking into the tight-knit group of UFC commentators will be a difficult challenge, but she believes it’s attainable.

It’s a long-term goal for Sanko, but she feels it would be possible to overcome any hurdles that may be in her way.

“I would love that,” Sanko said. “That is definitely a goal. I don’t think it’s one that’s necessarily going to happen anytime soon, but it’s one I’m working toward and I hope one day to make that come to fruition. It’s tough, though. The hurdles that are in my way are not necessarily one people would assume, like, ‘Oh, they don’t want a woman.’ That’s not the case. I think they really like to have former UFC fighters there and they I think they really like to have higher profile UFC fighters there, so that’s one thing that doesn’t happen on my resume.

“I like to think that over my years with the UFC, with Contender Series I’ve shown my fight knowledge over the interviews I do. I can tell that over time people have started to realize I do really understand the game and can provide on the spot analysis of what’s happening in a fight.”



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