A MMA broadcasting era is coming to an end, as Mike Goldberg and the UFC are parting ways following Friday’s UFC 207. Goldberg has been calling UFC fights since UFC 15.5: Ultimate Japan, which took place in December of 1997.
Goldberg has mostly been partnered with Joe Rogan since then, and has been the main UFC play-by-play man. He also reportedly turned down an offer from the WWE back in 2005 and has dabbled in some other sports (including a disastrous NFL broadcast for Fox in 2014, where he not only botched names and calls but got profane with his critics; that wound up being the only NFL game he called), calling NHL games for the Detroit Red Wings and the Minnesota Wild. It will be interesting to see where he lands.
It’s also going to be worth watching closely to see who the UFC tabs to replace Goldberg. Dana White has been hinting at a “dream team” with someone he’s wanted for “years” for a while, and while Rogan has signed a one-year extension, Goldberg will no longer be part of that picture. Chael Sonnen suggested earlier this month that Jim Rome might be a possibility, and FloCombat’s Jeremy Botter added to that talk Wednesday:
I’ve been able to confirm the rumors re: Jim Rome to UFC as Goldberg replacement. It’s not done yet, but talks are ongoing.
— Jeremy Botter (@jeremybotter) December 28, 2016
Rome calling UFC broadcasts would certainly be interesting, and he’d definitely give the UFC a well-known name. How well that would go over with fight fans is up in the air, though. This also isn’t set yet, so it could still wind up being someone else. Either way, there’s going to be a lot of attention paid to whoever winds up replacing Goldberg. We’ll see who it is and how they do.