SMITH UNSURE ON BELLATOR

Consider this a head scratching moment for MMA fans. Jimmy Smith and Sean Wheelock were really one of the better MMA commentating duos out there. Always a honest and professional job. I enjoyed their work immensely on the Bellator broadcasts. So, naturally, Jimmy is now on the sidelines and rumored to be replaced by Neil Grove, of all people.

During a Monday night interview on Tapout radio, you can sense the confusion and bewilderment from Jimmy in regards to why he hasn’t heard from the Bellator office regarding his employment with the company in 2011.

INTERVIEWER: “What’s going on with Bellator? I mean instead of us just asking questions in particular, why don’t you just tell us what you got to say about Bellator basically?”

JIMMY SMITH: “Well, it’s… it’s kind of strange, I haven’t heard anything since early December. I want to say like December 1st, maybe even the end of November. Pretty much we had a, you know, we still have a contract through 2011 but they, the deal was they wanted me to sign an extension and, you know, for various reasons I didn’t like the extension and so I haven’t heard anything in, God, coming up on two months now and, uh… so it’s, I find it highly unlikely I’ll be coming back to Bellator. They’re getting ready to start up I think next month, so looks like they’re going in another direction so far in terms of commentary but I’m still under contract, you never know how it’s going to go. They could come back and start negotiation again but like I said I haven’t heard anything in about two months so looks like they’re going in another direction commentary-wise, so… that’s the deal as far as I know it.”

INTERVIEWER: “It looks like it or it is? Like, I mean have you received confirmation from Bjorn or anybody?”

JIMMY SMITH: “Nobody. Nothing. But they don’t have to, you know, I haven’t received confirmation from anybody. But I haven’t, you know, it’s just like negotiations about the, um… extension were really short. Really short, and it was, you know, I thought the deal we already had through 2011 was better and so I said, hey, why don’t we stick with the contract we already have and that was it. That was it. I haven’t heard anything in, like I said, almost two months now. So everybody keeps telling me the same things. The reason I’m talking about it at all is because, you know, a lot of people are now calling me for interviews about Bellator and you know what’s going and you know Mauro Ranallo called me last week and goes kind of like, hey, what’s going on with Bellator, we want to do an interview with you and I said, uh… can’t help you, man. You know it’s like people assume that I’m coming back next year and I would say right now I’m 90% I’m not. So, it’s funny because you get these calls about interviews and about Bellator coming up and I’m out of it, I don’t, you know, so it’s… you know, it’s an interesting, it’s a difficult situation but I’d say 90% I’m not coming back. You know I still could back and do something but 90% I’m not, which is weird.”

INTERVIEWER: “Now does the pre-existing contract go through the season of 2011? So are you still set to be paid even though if things do fall through?”

JIMMY SMITH: “No, what happens is they have the option to basically decide whether or not I come back. It’s entirely up to them. We have an agreement but it’s entirely up to Bellator at this point as to whether or not I’ll be coming back, so… um… you know it’s up to them…”