UFC fans were shocked last month when Mike Goldberg was abruptly let go by the UFC. It was a huge surprise that the man who provided play-by-play commentary for the UFC for two decades was unceremoniously dumped by the promotion. There was no sendoff or fanfare for Goldberg even though he was such a central part of the UFC experience. He and Joe Rogan has a good partnership that fans embraced for the most part.
UFC 207 Final Event for Goldberg
UFC 207 was the final UFC event to feature the broadcasting team of Goldberg and Rogan. Rogan, who is the face of the UFC, will stay on. His new partner is still unknown, but there are rumors floating around that UFC President Dana White wants to hire Jim Rome to be the new play-by-play man for the competition. Many fans are up in arms about the possible hiring of Rome. He is a polarizing figure who people either seem to love or hate. The ones that hate him have already taken to Twitter to complain about the possibility of Rome taking over as the voice of the UFC.
Perhaps the most shocking thing about Goldberg’s departure is how lackluster it was. The UFC did not have any kind of celebration for the man who was the voice of their organization for 20 years. While they probably did that so as not to get negative press for letting Goldberg go for seemingly no reason, it was a cruel way to treat a man who meant so much to the organization during its rapid rise in popularity over the last decade.
Goldberg in Shock
On an appearance on “The MMA Hour” on Monday, Goldberg opened up about his departure from the UFC. Talking about the firing, he said, “It was a shock. I was speechless. I didn’t know what type of emotion to have because I was just in a state of shock and disbelief.”
Goldberg said on the broadcast that White never even spoke to him. It appears that Goldberg’s firing likely was part of the massive wave of firings that have ripped through the UFC since it was purchased by WME-IMG. The firings started back in October, and they have continued on for the last few months. The new owners seem committed to cutting costs by hosting fewer UFC events and squeezing as much profit as possible from the bigger remaining events.
It is tough to say exactly why Goldberg was let go, but he was not a flawless announcer. He sometimes made mistakes when he was calling the action. Goldberg also was frequently criticized for seeming like a cheerleader for fighters he liked. It is doubtful that the opinionated Rome will be any better in that department, but someone is going to have to fill in for Goldberg soon. UFC 208 is coming up on February 11th, and fans will be waiting to see who sits beside Rogan as they call the action.