Ever working Mauro Ranallo returns to MMA as new co-host of AXS TV’s “Inside MMA”

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Mauro Ranallo’s getting even busier. The veteran combat sports announcer is juggling numerous current roles, and it was revealed on Wednesday that he’ll be returning to the MMA world as the new co-host of AXS TV’s Inside MMA program starting on March 25.

The 46-year-old is currently seen on WWE’s Smackdown, and continues to commentate in boxing and kickboxing as well, but this is a return to MMA for the first time in a long time.

“I’m blessed to be doing WWE on a weekly basis, and I’ve got Showtime Championship Boxing and Glory Kickboxing, so all that was missing from my combat sports palate was a regular gig covering mixed martial arts,” said Ranallo in an interview with Sports Illustrated. “I’m ready to put another piece of food on this plate that some people say might already be full, but I’m at my best when I’m working.

“This was an opportunity to get back into the sport with one of my favorite broadcast partners, and really one of my best friends in the world, with Bas Rutten. It’s not going to be an easy task replacing Kenny Rice, but the chance to do a show with the reputation and quality of ‘Inside MMA’ makes sense for all of us.”

Penick’s Analysis: It’s another role in which Ranallo’s likely to excel. The former Strikeforce and Pride announcer would still be welcome covering the sport live from cageside, but given the other gigs he’s currently occupied with, this is a way to get his thoughts in on the sport once again on a weekly basis. He’s a good addition to that show, and already works great with Rutten, so there’s good chemistry for that pairing.

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