Five Questions with MMA Announcer Cyrus Fees | Sports

Cyrus Fees has a voice heard around the world.

The 39-year-old Kingsport resident is well known to local mixed martial arts fans as a ring announcer and commentator, but his reach extends far beyond the Tri-Cities. Fees calls for action for combat sports around the world.

He is best known to people outside the region as the ring announcer for the Ultimate Fighting Championships Dana White’s Contender series. Originally from Iowa, Fees was a huge wrestling fan growing up and loved the theater of professional wrestling. He then made the transition to MMA.

Fees came to northeast Tennessee to attend Tusculum and ended up staying here. His first MMA event was a show called “Cage Chaos” in Abingdon in 2008. His career started to take off once he started working with local fighter and promoter Casey Oxendine. They did a very successful show, “MMA, Inside the Cage”, which helped him make the connections still used today.

Fresh also served as a news anchor for WKPT-TV from 2011 to 2012. He is active in the community as part of the Johnson City Rotary and was on the Business Journal’s “40 under Forty” list.

You’ve been into combat sports so much. Have you ever wanted to compete in the ring or in the cage?

“I always wanted to be a ring announcer or do something on TV. I fell in love with the ring announcement job and it morphed into other things. I never got the job. interest in becoming a pro wrestler or MMA fighter I let the big beefy guys do all that stuff.

You’re so into MMA, but you said wrestling was your first love. Would you be interested if a major pro wrestling promotion called?

“Of course. I have a very big love of pro wrestling to this day. I don’t watch it as closely as I do, but if I had the opportunity to do something for WWE or AEW , I will find a way to make it work.

What promotions have you worked with?

“I did a few little shows with Bellator and worked with the PFL (Professional Fighting League) for a year. I did a lot of shows overseas. That’s my business card. worked with EFC in South Africa for five, six years. I worked with UAE Warriors and most recently Eagle.” (The first show for the Eagle FC promotion, owned by Khabib Nurmagomedov, was on Saturday in Miami.)

How did your opportunity with the UFC series come about?

“I had a run-in with Dana White early last year that went viral. He came to the UAE Warriors show I was working on. He was looking for fighters, but I walked up to his table and I said, “You also need to look for an advertiser.” That caught him off guard and returned him to his YouTube show. That’s how I was introduced to him.

“I kept talking to him, I had an open dialogue. I had to do three episodes of the Dana White Contender series. I’m not officially with them (UFC), but I’m on the list where they can get me up for a show. I know Bruce Buffer or Joe Martinez aren’t going anywhere soon. But I’m like the third channel announcer for them.

What other things do you have going on?

“I have a podcast called ‘In This Corner with Cyrus Fees’. We interviewed Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn, Cain Velasquez, an MMA who’s who. I own two arcades, Vision Quest in the Johnson City Mall and a Knoxville. That keeps me busy enough.”