December 30th at UFC 207 was the last time long-time play-by-play commentator Mike Goldberg sat on the broadcast table alongside Joe Rogan. But after 20 years of service, he never received a “proper goodbye”, according to his son Kole.
Goldberg never really spoke about his departure from the company in detail, until in his appearance on Monday’s edition of the MMA Hour. Speaking to Ariel Helwani, “Goldie” expressed all of his emotions and sentiments about what turned to be his release.
“I watched everything around me be shattered,” Goldberg said (via MMA Fighting). “It took 15 years to build this wonderful family, and it felt like it was taking 15 minutes to destroy it. And it just was a really tough time, and it may still be tough.”
“There may be more to come throughout the UFC family. This is not uncommon in an ownership change with anything. It might just be corporate America, it might be on Wall Street. In this instance, it’s a sports property.”
Upon the entry of the new owners from WME-IMG in July of 2016, many other employees, including top-tier executives who were under the Zuffa LLC banner were also let go. From his end, Goldberg says the disappointing part was not having heard from UFC president Dana White about the company’s decision and how it all came to be. Which is why when he was asked if he was surprised bout how it all came down, Goldberg was not able to give a definite response.
“I don’t think there’s any way to answer that without it being somewhat controversial or somewhat angry, so I’ll leave that one alone,” Goldberg said. “But certainly, I’ll tell you this: that I’m a team guy and I love the UFC brand, and I represented it in the way that I was asked to for two decades, and of course, about 15 years with Zuffa. So yeah, when you carry the flag the way you’re asked to, yeah, it was somewhat of a bummer, to say the least.”
Goldberg’s interview begins at the 2:02:18 mark of the video.