Words

Mike Goldberg’s Family Is Bummed About UFC 207 Snub

Fightland Blog

By Jake Hughes

Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

Earlier in December, rumors emerged of the impending departure of the long-serving Mike Goldberg, who will be stepping away from the microphone as the UFC’s main English-speaking play-by-play commentator.

Ahead of UFC 207, UFC president Dana White confirmed the rumour to be true—with Goldberg, lovingly referred to as “Goldie,” narrating his final UFC fights at that aforementioned event. With the truth of the gossip surrounding Goldberg’s future established, it signalled another change in the fast-moving world of the UFC.

Did Goldberg leave on his own accord, or is he perhaps the latest victim of the WME-IMG job purge? Alleged cost-cutting and elimination of job redundancy after the merge has seen Matt Hughes, Chuck Liddell and a string of other big figures behind the scenes at the UFC lose or leave their jobs since their $4.2billion purchase of the MMA promotion back in August.

When White confirmed Goldberg was set to leave the UFC, the promotion’s head honcho mentioned how he has a replacement lined up (though not finalised as yet) for Goldberg in July and how it was a move he had wanted to make for years—cutting comments made just days before Goldie’s last hurrah alongside color commentator Joe Rogan.

However, the lack of goodbye or any mention of Goldberg’s departure on the UFC 207 broadcast was more galling. While the veteran commentator subtly bid a fond farewell of his own to his now-former UFC colleagues during the pay-per-view’s end credits, not even Rogan acknowledged his long-time partner’s exit.

The UFC’s apparent cold stance on Goldberg leaving the company rightfully angered his wife, Kim, and his son, Kole. This isn’t surprising, given how Goldberg has commentated on the vast majority of UFC events since his debut in 1997 at UFC 15.5: Ultimate Japan—only missing one event he was scheduled to commentate on, UFC 155, following a bout of illness with a respiratory infection

In addition, Goldie displayed a lot of loyalty to the UFC brand in the past, passing up on a big-money contract offer from WWE—an offer which was complimented by an additional six-figure sum for Goldberg to no-show a UFC commentary gig as reported in 2006.

UFC fighters, such as TJ Grant, and MMA fans agreed with the Goldberg family’s sentiments as they paid tribute to the now-former UFC play-by-play man.

It was both surprising and disappointing to not see Goldberg not given a fitting send-off, given close to 20 years of loyal service. For all his faults, Goldberg, in tandem with Rogan, became the definitive voice of the UFC and no mention of UFC 207 being his last show was as odd as it seemed disrespectful. 

 

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