ROUNDTABLE (pt. 2 of 2): Should Bellator prioritize signing Mike Goldberg to be give Spike TV broadcasts best known voice and face in MMA announcing?

Mike Goldberg

Q: If you were Bellator, would you prioritize signing Mike Goldberg, even if the price was relatively steep, just to give Bellator one of the most recognizable faces and voices on their Spike TV broadcasts helping to give major league credibility to the brand and to the fighters in the ring? Or would you stick with Sean Grande as your announcer?


Bellator should bring in Goldberg if the price is right, or if Viacom is willing to foot most of the bill. Goldberg got treated extremely unfairly by the UFC, but he’s not some beloved figure in MMA who’s going to make people tune in if they wouldn’t otherwise watch. However, he is associated with many of the biggest moments in MMA history so there is value there. They don’t want to overspend, though. If the price is right, they should sign him.


If I were Bellator I would definitely sign Mike Goldberg simply for the fact that his name carries weight within the combat sports world. Mike’s had his ups and downs, but like I’ve said before the tone of his voice and overall attitude on the mic tends to make the events far less savage and brutal.


Bellator is in a unique place. For various reasons the UFC seems to be making stranger and stranger decisions, and now is the time to take advantage of the UFC dropping the ball. They should bolster their roster, not just with their fighters but all around too. Goldberg has many detractors, and many times rightfully so. Surely, though, he would jump at the chance, and signing him would not be too expensive. He has his own loyal fans, would bring exposure to Bellator, and add major credibility. This one seems like a no brainer for me.


If Goldberg was stellar at announcing, I’d be more tempted. He had a few “go to” ‘isms that were his signatures, but as the years wore on, they started to sound clichéd and he seemed worn down and even insecure with his knowledge compared to those around him. Joe Rogan would say something Goldberg knew to be true, and he’d overly nod like “yep, I was just thinking the same thing!” yet he’d rarely initiate such comments. It came across as phony, like the kid in a group project at school who doesn’t read the required material or initiate contributing much, but pretends every good idea was something he had in mind, too.

All of that said, even though play-by-play announcers in MMA often play a backseat to the ex-fighters (or Joe Rogan) who are providing expert analysis, Goldberg has a legacy attached to his voice that might make a few casual viewers who check out Bellator now and then to think this is an important fight or the “new major league group” because they recognize some familiar big names and now hear a familiar voice they associate with the biggest MMA fights they’ve ever seen. I’m not sure that’s worth paying more than the going rate for Sean Grande, who I’m a fan of (dating back to his days at the Minnesota Timberwolves play-by-play announcer). But having Goldberg in the mix, especially when Grande has a prior NBA commitment or otherwise, could provide Bellator with a useful special attraction type of announcer who shows up now and then.

If Grande quit, and Goldberg was available for a much lower rate that the relatively huge money UFC was paying him compared to other announcers, then I’d vote yes. Goldberg is good enough to jump to the front of the line, but not so good that you want to lose the room to sign a big name fighter over the expense associated with signing him. Of course, Goldberg would need to do a great job announcing or lose his job, though, and not skate by because he’s the “big league” announcer with a familiar face who can just skate by on reputation.

NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S PART ONE ON THIS TOPIC: ROUNDTABLE (pt. 1 of 2): Should Bellator prioritize signing Mike Goldberg to be give Spike TV broadcasts best known voice and face in MMA announcing?

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