The dawn of 2017 was quite rough for Mike Goldberg. After almost two decades of service, the long-time UFC play-by-play commentator was released from the company in early January, and the manner of which it was done was not appreciated by members of his family.
It only took five months for Goldie to get back on track, as he was signed by the UFC’s rival promotion company Bellator last week. He will be splitting broadcast duties with Mauro Ranallo, which will begin this Saturday at Bellator 180, the company’s debut event at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
But it was not all smooth sailing for Goldberg, particularly during the transition period between being released from the UFC and his signing with Bellator. He spoke about it in detail during Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour.
"The last six months were as difficult as any period of my life,” Goldberg told Ariel Helwani (via MMA Fighting). "And it was professional, wasn’t personal, but it was as difficult as any six months in my life. And it’s weird, though, because what was difficult was that everybody that I spoke to said ‘oh, it’s a no brainer, you’re gonna be great with us, it’s a no brainer, let’s make it happen.’”
Goldberg says he was kept encouraged by his loved ones, as well as fans who continued to send him their messages of support. He also maintains that there are no ill feelings between him and his former employer.
"What pushed me through it, and what kept me motivated — obviously, my family is first and foremost — were the fans and the tweets that continued, and the praise and the ‘we miss you, Goldie’, ‘when are you coming back?’ That energized me,” Goldberg said.
"Nineteen years I got to do that, right outside the Octagon, and always well. If I didn't have those 19 years, I wouldn't be in the position that I am right now, headed to New York City later today to do a pay-per-view broadcast from the world’s most famous arena. I bring with me all the great memories, I bring with me all the positive vibes.”
Goldberg will be handling the broadcast duties for the preliminary bouts aired on Spike TV, which will feature the light heavyweight title fight between Phil Davis and Ryan Bader. He will then be on the anchor’s desk in studio for the pay-per-view card, as Ranallo does the play-by-play commentary.