Jon Anik reveals how NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal inspired ‘one of the greatest deliveries’ of UFC broadcast

Jon Anik remembers Shaquille O'Neal's fist bump before a broadcast which greatly boosted his confidence.


Jon Anik reveals how NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal inspired ‘one of the greatest deliveries’ of UFC broadcast

Jon Anik recalls fist bumping Shaquille O'Neal (via Bleacher report/CNBC)

Commentary is an important of combat sports. It energizes crowds and details the action present in the octagon. UFC commentator Jon Anik recently recently shared a starstruck moment with Shaquille O’Neal. The experience left him feeling supremely confident before delivering an introduction.

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Anik recalled preparing for a standup camera intro before an event. As he got into position, someone unexpectedly reached up for a fist bump. To his surprise, the massive hand belonged to NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal. One of Anik’s all-time favorite athletes was greeting him before the broadcast.

I look down and there's a big hand reaching to give me a fist bump. It's Shaquille O'Neal…If that doesn't fire you up to fist bump that dude and then deliver to the camera, right?
Jon Anik via MMA Junkie

Anik was elated to exchange a quick fist bump with O’Neal. The simple gesture from an idol gave him an immediate boost. While he couldn’t recall the specifics of his subsequent intro, he’s sure it ranked among his best ever. The unexpected interaction put Anik in an undeniably focused mindset. Having his basketball hero offer some spur-of-the-moment encouragement was incredibly meaningful.

At that particular moment, O’Neal’s fist bump extinguished any nerves Anik felt. It helped produce what he considers an all-time great event intro. Recently, however, Anik was on the receiving end of trolling which prompted him to lash out at fans.

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Jon Anik defends Bo Nickal’s spot at UFC 300

Jon Anik is a voice of reason in the MMA world. As such, he recently justified Bo Nickal‘s prominent position at UFC 300. Despite limited experience, Nickal secured a main card spot over former champions. The April 13 event features nine ex-champions across three title fights. Yet in the middle of a stacked lineup is rising prospect Nickal.

Anik was questioned about Nickal’s advantageous placement. He cited a strategic reasoning for this. He believed Nickal generates a unique “electricity” and fan intrigue. The commentator compared Nickal’s appeal to fellow hyped prospect, Khamzat Chimaev. Both have garnered intense momentum despite still developing their UFC careers.

Placing Nickal early on the main card serves multiple purposes according to Anik. It keeps viewers engaged after the opening of promotional videos. Anik also indicated business considerations as the UFC seemingly believes Nickal will generate more PPV buys. The wrestling prodigy is set to battle Cody Brundage on the main card of UFC 300.

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