Former UFC and American Ninja Warrior announcer Jimmy Smith is set to join the WWE RAW announce team to replace Adnan Virk as the lead announcer.

As noted, WWE and Virk parted ways on Tuesday after just over a month into the partnership. You can click here for Virk’s post-departure statement, and you can click here for reactions from other WWE announcers.

It was reported today that Smith will be joining Corey Graves and Byron Saxton on the red brand announce team, starting with the May 31 episode, according to

It was noted that Smith has been working with Michael Cole and other WWE staffers as of late to train for a potential announcing role. Cole has reportedly praised Smith heavily, and found him to be very versatile.

Smith has been rumored to replace Virk since Tuesday evening. He started doing WWE NXT work during “Takeover: Stand & Deliver” weekend, and recently appeared in the video package to hype Finn Balor vs. NXT Champion Karrion Kross.

The 43 year old Smith is best known for his run with Bellator MMA from 2010 – 2017. He worked as an analyst with Bellator and UFC, but is set to be the lead play-by-play announcer on RAW. Wrestling Inc. first exclusively reported back in early March that he was backstage for a tryout at a live SmackDown taping.

Smith currently hosts the Unlocking The Cage show on SiriusXM, which airs weekdays from 2-5pm ET. He also hosts ESPN International’s UFC Fight Camp show. Smith retired from MMA fighting in 2007, with a 5-1 record. He’s also done commentary for pro boxing, and other combat sports leagues.

Stay tuned for more on Smith joining the RAW announce team.

Have a news tip or correction? Send it to [email protected]


Sign up for Wrestling Inc. Breaking News Alerts

Instagram iconFollow Wrestling Inc. on Instagram.