Are you wondering who the UFC translators are?
In this article, we’ll look at the full list of UFC translators/interpreters, the languages they speak, the events they work at, and when they started working with the UFC.
Full List of UFC Translators/Interpreters
The UFC has never employed a translator/interpreter which means they’re self-employed and translate part-time at UFC events and during fight week if needed.
Many UFC translators through the years have been members of a fighter’s team or management, which is why there have been so many errors during post-fight interviews and so many different translators/interpreters for every fighter.
Even many of the translators on this list are also MMA managers or team members who translate/interpret part-time. However, in alphabetical order, here are the UFC translators/interpreters most used by the UFC because they’re either good at the job or they’re available.
Dariusz Kruczek has worked as an interpreter since 2014 and speaks fluent English, Portuguese, and Polish. He’s one of the rare UFC translators to speak Polish so he’s often translating at UFC events featuring many Polish UFC fighters and the cards held in Europe.
Not only does Dariusz translate Polish to English in the post-fight interviews, but he also interprets to the English broadcast what the coaches say to the fighters during the breaks between rounds.
While Dariusz works part-time for the UFC, he’s known to be very active during fight week for the fighters he’s assigned to. He helps them with press conferences, photo shoots, and anything else they need.
While occasionally interpreting for the UFC, Dariusz also started at KSW 27 as a Portuguese interpreter. 2 years later, he was appointed as KSW’s head of operations, one of Europe’s biggest MMA promotions.
Derek Kronig first translated in the UFC in 2008 when he was part of the management team of Black House MMA in Brazil. He translated from Portuguese to English what was being said to the fighters between rounds.
He then started interpreting post-fight interviews and became the main Portuguese-to-English translator for any UFC events which had a lot of Brazilian fighters, as well as UFC events held in Brazil.
If there were a lot of Brazilian fighters on a card, Derek was working most of the fight week as an interpreter, but if there weren’t many he’d work just fight day.
For UFC events in Brazil, he spent more time with the non-Portuguese-speaking fighters as they need help translating what is said into English. At English-speaking events, he’s 100% with the Brazilian fighters translating English to Portuguese.
Derek is also fluent in French so he worked at events featuring Canadian and French UFC fighters.
Fabiano Buskei only joined the UFC in August 2020 and has quickly become a fan favorite with many labeling him the ‘goat translator’ (greatest of all time).
Fabiano translates at UFC events part-time whenever he’s needed. He speaks fluent English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian, so the UFC brings him in whenever there are many European or Brazilian fighters on a card. He’s well-known for being Charles Oliveira’s translator.
He’s very passionate about his job as a UFC translator and this comes across in his ability to translate not only a fighter’s words but their emotions and message too. He also never skips anything a fighter says, which a lot of less experienced translators do because of nerves.
Former UFC fighter Jorge Gurgel finished his MMA career in 2014 and has since begun teaching English in Brazil and interpreting for MMA/UFC fighters.
His first interpreting gig came in 2010 while still an active fighter when he was asked to translate for Thiago Silva on the night he faced Rashad Evans at UFC 108.
Jorge admits the money isn’t spectacular, but he enjoys staying involved in MMA and the UFC and getting front-row tickets to the fights (for free).
Mizuka Koike is the UFC’s Japanese translator. She’s remembered for her translating at UFC 144 (2012) when she used a fluffy rainbow pen and paper to write down everything during the post-fight interviews before translating to English.
Mizuka Koike appeared sparingly after UFC 144, at events with Japanese fighters and at events in Japan – for which the last one was in 2017.
Ray Fundaro was considered an amazing translator by UFC fans after his performances translating for Yoel Romero during his time in the UFC. He conveyed Romero’s every word and feeling, and Romero helped Ray by only speaking a few words to a sentence at a time.
Sayat Abdrakhmanov is widely recognized as a UFC translator/interpreter as he’s been doing it for many years, but he’s actually an MMA manager for many UFC fighters such as Petr Yan. Part of his management fee includes translating for them at UFC events and teaching them English on the side.
Sayat is from Kazakhstan and speaks Kazakh, Thai, Chinese, Russian, and English, so he’s often translating at UFC events when there are fighters from those countries on the card and when his managed fighters are competing.
He lives in Thailand and trains out of Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket, which is where many of his fighters also train.
Sergey Nagorny is fluent in Russian, English, and Ukrainian, and often works as a UFC translator/interpreter for many Russian UFC fighters, most recently Sergei Pavlovich and Magomed Ankalaev, and a few Ukrainian UFC fighters on the roster such as Maryna Moroz.
He’s very attentive and doesn’t miss a beat with his interpretation, likely helped by his primary job as an actor. He’s able to quickly translate English to Russian and ask the fighter the interviewer’s question as it’s being asked, which speeds up the interview and interpreting process.
Wallid Ismail is another MMA manager who translates Portuguese to English for the Brazilian fighters he manages, most notably Deiveson Figueiredo, Paulo Costa, and Amanda Lemos.
Wallid Ismail is a good translator with good energy, but he’s caused controversy in the past by adding his own thoughts and opinions on top of what his fighters have said.
The UFC doesn’t have any official translators for reasons unsaid (likely money), which is why they’ve had many awkward interpreting moments during post-fight interviews through the years.
This has been the full list of UFC translators, many of whom are also managers, coaches, or simply training partners.
The two most recognizable UFC translators/interpreters in recent times are Fabiano Buskei and Sayat Abdrakhmanov. This is because they’re great at what they do and the UFC call upon them more often than not.