The UFC’s $4 billion transfer of power from the familiar Zuffa to new owners WME-IMG hasn’t exactly led to smooth sailing for the world’s premier fighting league/nap warehouse. Depending on your perspective, the current shift is either due for a few unavoidable hiccups along the way or (if you’re the former voice of the UFC) the Octagon is going up in flames. Mike Goldberg is suggesting the latter.
Goldberg, a former play-by-play staple with the UFC, painted a fairly bleak portrait of his former employer on Monday’s The MMA Hour. The broadcaster parted ways with the company after UFC 207 and he admits the company’s decision not to renew his contract was unexpected. At least to him.
“It was a shock,” said Goldberg. “I was speechless. I didn’t know what type of emotion to have, because I was just in a state of shock and disbelief. People love that warm, fuzzy blanket. That’s what you were describing a second ago, and (longtime broadcast partner) Joe (Rogan) and I have been that warm, fuzzy blanket for a long time when it came to the UFC. Everybody gets new blankets and they get new furniture, but at the end of the day, when you cuddle up on a Sunday and you watch football, that blanket in the corner that’s got holes in it, and it’s kinda smelly but that’s your blanket, that’s the one you utilize.”
As is customary with these sorts of chats, Goldberg expressed gratitude for having the opportunity to be “the soundtrack” for many of the sport’s great moments and likened his dismissal as similar to other Zuffa carryover employers that were axed too.
“I watched everything around me be shattered,” he said. “It took 15 years to build this wonderful family, and it felt like it was taking 15 minutes to destroy it. And it just was a really tough time, and it may still be tough. There may be more to come throughout the UFC family. This is not uncommon in an ownership change with anything. It might just be corporate America, it might be on Wall Street. In this instance, it’s a sports property.”
The split (understandably) hasn’t exactly made Goldberg and UFC prez Dana White closer buds. They haven’t spoken since UFC 207.
“No conversations, no contact. Nothing, really,” explained Goldberg. “Nothing. Which was surprising. Disappointing, certainly. But nothing was said, and I’ve got to live with that. At the end of the day, what matters to me is my family, my children. But no, to answer your question directly, there was no conversation. Nothing at all.”
There’s a strong possibility this could nudge Floyd Mayweather to put Mike Goldberg on his payroll on general principle. Just saying.
(Via MMA Fighting)