Jon Anik says UFC Fight Island stretch will be ‘most challenging week’ of his career

ABU DHABI – Jon Anik has covered plenty of shows throughout his career, but no stretch will be more hectic than the UFC’s upcoming run on “Fight Island.”

Anik, who will serve as the play-by-play guy for all three events, has a packed schedule ahead of him. With UFC on ABC 1, UFC on ESPN 20 and UFC 257 happening in a span of eight days, Anik faces plenty of preparation ahead of a star-studded week.

“It’s not ideal,” Anik told MMA Junkie and other reporters on Thursday. “I have a lot of respect for the NFL guys that do 17 straight weeks. A lot of our play-by-play guys have never even done a back-to-back. I think that’s just the nature of our beast. There’s so much that goes into the preparation and if you just want to play a numbers game – say 26 fighters times three, 75 fighters if you’re giving everybody an hour, that’s 75 hours. That’s two work weeks.

“I try to give every fighter an hour and in a back-to-back situation like this, with another show sandwiched in between, it’s impossible. So I’ll do the best I can to turn the page to Chiesa-Magny on Monday, but I gotta start my UFC 257 card on Tuesday. So I’ll be sort of double dipping a little bit, and this will be the most challenging fight week that I have ever gone through. To have other things on my plate during a pay-per-view week is something that I’ve never experienced.”

The UFC on ABC 1 main card, headlined by Max Holloway vs. Calvin Kattar, airs on ABC and streams on ESPN+ following prelims on ESPN+.

UFC on ESPN 20, headlined by Michael Chiesa vs. Neil Magny, takes place Jan. 20 and airs entirely on ESPN.

UFC 257, headlined by the return of Conor McGregor in a rematch with Dustin Poirier, will stream on ESPN+ pay-per-view after prelims on ESPN and ESPN+.

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