After almost two decades in the sport, long time commentator Mike Goldberg has left the UFC.
It came as a shock to many, but with speculations of his sudden departure running rife, it was confirmed that the veteran commentator would bow out after UFC 207. So what were the reasons for Goldberg’s release? Several rumours have circulated over the past week, from the devolution of Goldberg’s work (see video below) to difficulties arising with contractual agreements. The most likely scenario at this point, it would seem, stems from the company changing hands in 2016. It was inevitable that new owners, WME- IMG, would want to put their mark on the brand at some point, with a rumoured addition of Jim Rome to the broadcasting team seemingly imminent.
Goldberg will be remembered though, and not just for his mistakes. He, alongside co-host Joe Rogan, has been the voice of the octagon since 1997. His punchy radio voice helping bring the sport from the relatively unknown, to the fastest growing sport in the world.
Though many believe he didn’t get the send off he deserved, Goldberg finally released a statement on his departure this week. In a twitter statement he wrote, “I wish I could respond to every single fan, fighter, and member of the media who reached out and showed their support, gratitude, and appreciation! It has been overwhelming and so gratifying! Thank you!!
He went on, “Every single UFC, from Ultimate Japan to UFC 207, my primary focus has been on just 2 things! First, to bring passion, energy, and raw emotion to our fans around the world, dedicated, diehard fans like none other!
Second, to properly represent each and every fighter, from UFC newcomer to veterans with 20-plus Octagon battles, our fighters work so hard and sacrifice so much, it was my responsibility to properly prepare and tell their stories!!
Tommy Toe Hold, that video was hilarious! And just for the record, I still believe that Anderson Silva’s Precision is Precise!”
So what’s next for Goldie? While a move to a rival organisation such as Bellator or WSOF could be on the cards, his immediate future remains unknown. One thing is clear however, changes are afoot within the UFC, and this shake up of the broadcasting team could just be the beginning.
By Lewis Smith.