The UFC’s final event of 2016 will reportedly double as the final broadcast for Mike Goldberg. Following a report from EntImports, MMA Fighting’s Luke Thomas confirmed on Wednesday that Goldberg will depart the company following this Friday’s UFC 207: Nunes vs. Rousey pay-per-view in Las Vegas, Nevada. There has been no official comment made by the UFC.
Goldberg’s exit from the commentary booth has been rumored for several weeks, as the WME-IMG ownership continues to shake up the structure of the old Zuffa era. Chael Sonnen recently dropped a rumor that veteran sports radio host Jim Rome could be replacing Goldberg. UFC president Dana White didn’t outright say that Goldberg would be gone, but did tell Sportsnet prior to UFC 206 that he was looking to assemble his “dream team” of commentating, which would otherwise include Joe Rogan, who signed a 1-year contract that will keep him calling most UFC pay-per-view shows through 2017.
If this is indeed the end of the line for Goldberg, it’ll mark a run of almost 20 years as the “play-by-play” (or “blow-by-blow,” if you prefer) voice of the UFC. Goldberg’s first commentary was for UFC Japan in December 1997, and his regular partnership with Joe Rogan began in November 2002 at UFC 40. Prior to the UFC’s broadcast deal with FOX, Goldberg and Rogan worked nearly all of the UFC’s events, whether on PPV, Spike TV, or Versus. In recent years, the events have been split to a point where Goldberg and Rogan feature on less-than-half of the UFC’s 40+ cards, with Jon Anik serving as the play-by-play guy on FS1 and Fight Pass cards, while John Gooden and Dan Hardy work select Fight Pass events based in Europe and Asia. Rogan’s new contract will see him only commentate on UFC pay-per-views based in North America, while the rotation of Brian Stann, Kenny Florian, Dan Hardy, and others work everything else.
While Rogan is on board for at least another year, the same doesn’t appear to be true for Mike Goldberg. So if you were a fan of his work or celebrating his exit, UFC 207 is evidently your last chance to hear him live. After that, I guess you could say that “it is all over!” for the Goldie era.
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