After much speculation since his ousting at the UFC, could Mike Goldberg actually be following in the footsteps of other former UFC names and heading to Bellator? Scott Coker revealed this week at a Bellator London press conference that he is, in fact, in talks with Mike Goldberg about a possible commentary role at Bellator.
“He’s somebody that we’ve been talking to,” said Coker. “I’m not sure what’s going to happen there. We have a great play-by-play guy right now.”
Of course, Bellator already has a full commentary team at the moment with Sean Grande on play-by-play along with Jimmy Smith and now Chael Sonnen on color commentary.
However, if Goldberg does join Bellator, it won’t be to replace Sean Grande, Coker is committed to Grande as Bellator’s main play-by-play guy. Coker noted that due to Grande’s other commitments to the NBA’s Boston Celtics, he has some upcoming schedule conflicts which is where Goldberg could come in.
“I know there’s a few dates that Sean can’t do because he also has commitments for basketball with the Celtics, so I think that Goldie might be a guy that could come in and take some of those dates,” Coker said. “Wouldn’t it be great to see Goldie and Jimmy and Chael? That would be a nice little play-by-play and color commentary team, but like I said, Sean Grande is our guy.”
Goldberg has been pretty quiet since he was let go by the UFC, only making a statement on the situation after UFC 207 on his time with the UFC where he remained positive and respectful to the UFC despite a lucrative offer to jump to the WWE back in 2005 to instead remain with the UFC.
Despite the controversy around the situation and his one and only statement on the events made via Twitter, he attended UFC Fight Night in Phoenix, Arizona live to watch his friend B.J. Penn fight in the main event, even showing up in the background of a camera shot at one point in what was no doubt a strange moment for the fans to see him somewhere besides behind the commentary table and awkward for the company also.
One thing he did do, though, which spoke louder than words, was the week after his last UFC show, he followed several different MMA companies and figures, including Bellator, ONE FC, Rich Franklin, and Victor Cui from ONE FC.
This now could be seen as a statement of intent, with Goldberg putting out the feelers to these companies for the future and, obviously, if Bellator hadn’t already thought of bringing him in (which they very likely had anyway), this may have given them a signal that Goldberg was open to doing something.
With the way Bellator has been snapping up free agents from the UFC – Chael Sonnen, Ryan Bader, Rory MacDonald, Matt Mitrione – surely they would love to have Goldberg on board in some way. Why wouldn’t they?
The fact the Sean Grande has upcoming commitments to the Boston Celtics opens the door to have the most recognisable voice in MMA calling Bellator events.
As I said in a previous supplement, Goldberg’s voice has been the soundtrack to the biggest moments in MMA and many stars have been made with his voice calling the action.
It’s something which could add so much to the Bellator broadcasts and could, in a way, help elevate their homegrown fighters. When you hear Goldberg, you think of big fights. It’s something which could add more credibility to the growing brand.
For Goldberg, he doesn’t deserve to go out the way he did with the UFC. He still has a lot to offer when it comes to calling MMA. Maybe he is not appreciated by the UFC anymore. As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and Goldberg will be appreciated if he joins Bellator and he will be treated like the top talent that he is.
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