While watching Strikeforce last night, I got into a Twitter conversation with Frank Trigg and some guy I don’t know (@mahklynch on Twitter) about Frank getting a shot as a color commentator with Zuffa. Frank should get such a position. He’s experienced, having done booth analysis for Pride FC and, if I recall correctly, having served as a color commentator for at least a few fight cards with smaller promotions. From what I’ve seen, he does a particularly good job. He apparently does his research and does a good job explaining what he knew to the fans. That’s his job, and he does it well.
Now, you might say that I’m saying this because Frank has such a good personality for the fans, being very responsive via Twitter to fan comments, not to mention sprinkling in some decent humor at time. Well, yes, that is part of why I’m saying this, because those are good characteristics for a commentator as well, and Zuffa recognizes those as good characteristics for its employees. As I’m sure you all know, Zuffa rewards its fighters for good interaction with their fans through Twitter.
I was of the position that Frank should have gotten his second chance with the UFC as a fighter. Yes, that was a position I took based on emotion. I’m an old-school fan of the sport, having been with it from the start, and even working for a promotion at one point (the now-defunct Extreme Fighting, formerly out of New York City). Frank got that second shot in the UFC, and it didn’t work for him, so in a sense I was wrong.
This is different. Frank’s not “past his prime” as a color commentator. Frank should get the job, or at least be next in line when a new one opens up. I understand that there aren’t many positions available, so it could be that there’s nothing open right now. However, Zuffa has too many duds on the payroll already: the idiotic Mike Goldberg, the embarrassing Bruce Buffer, and Frank Shamrock, who hates Dana and constantly insults him. At least if Frank Shamrock were let go Frank (Trigg) could instantly get a job. Of course, part of the problem is that the UFC doesn’t feel it owes Frank anything, but does feel it owes Stephan Bonner, Kenny Florian, and Randy Couture those jobs if they want them. At least Stephan and Kenny still do, so that’s a problem. Also, Chael Sonnen has a job if he wants one, whether he’s retired or not. Scott Coker, however, isn’t in that same position (except, unfortunately, with Frank Shamrock), so that’s a more likely place for Frank Trigg to land.
Zuffa made a smart move pulling Jon Anik away from ESPN’s MMA Live. Jon is a knowledgeable and good to the fans. Picking up Frank Trigg would be another step in that direction, and I’m hopeful that either Dana White or Scott Coker will make that move.
Edit: @mcmax3000 made an observation that I need to point out. If Frank were actually to be hired as a color commentator for Strikeforce, it would be Showtime that would have to hire him. Showtime manages the production, so Mauro Ranallo, Frank Shamrock, etc. are actually employed by Showtime directly. This could be good news for Frank (Trigg). Whereas Coker might feel he owes Shamrock (he was their first middleweight champion), Showtime may have picked him up based simply on star power alone rather than a personal “debt.” If that’s the case, a more competent broadcaster that still retains star power (i.e., Frank Trigg) could more easily supplant Shamrock. There are details to the Shamrock contract we don’t know, so how and when this could occur is ultimately beyond our knowledge. My point stands though: Frank Trigg would be an asset to any broadcast team. He should be near or at the top of the list of those next in line.
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