Since the new WME-IMG UFC owners took control of the company earlier this year, they have continued to fire numerous high-profile employees, including UFC Canada’s Tom Wright, and UFC Hall of Famers Chuck Liddell & Matt Hughes to name just a few.
Recently, there were reports circulating that in order to potentially secure a new TV deal, the promotion was looking to replace the “hype” style of commentary that longtime commentators Joe Rogan & Mike Goldberg brought to the table. While there has been no further reports on the matter, Joe Rogan’s friend, Eddie Bravo, recently asked on an episode of The Joe Rogan Experience’s Fight Companion “Who’s taking Mike Goldberg’s spot?” which led to a period of awkward silence with Joe Rogan and Brendan Schaub, potentially indicating that there was some truth behind Bravo’s question.
In a recent interview, UFC President Dana White discussed putting together the “dream team” of commentating. He spoke to Sportsnet:
“This has been my dream to assemble this dream team of commentating and I’ve wanted this guy for years and I’m working on it and it’s going to happen,”
“Joe Rogan, in my opinion, is the greatest to ever do it,” White added. “The greatest ever to call fights. HBO is very cocky and arrogant in their [boxing] production — but they deserve to be; they do it well and everything else — but Joe Rogan is the greatest to ever call fights in a combat sport.”
While White didn’t elaborate as to who the “dream team” would consist of, fight fans have begun to speculate as to who could join Joe Rogan, assuming Eddie Bravo’s comments were accurate and Roan would be staying on board. Two names that have repeatedly been discussed among fight fans are former Pride FC commentators Mauro Ranallo and Bas Rutten. With that being said however, Ranallo has been doing commentary work for the WWE, and could very well be unable to accept a role with the UFC. Former UFC champion Bas Rutten on the other hand recently found himself off-air when Inside MMA on AXS TV was cancelled. Last but not least of course, one cannot ignore the possibility of the UFC potentially looking to bring former Pride FC commentator Stephen Quadros, also known as ‘The Fight Professor’ on board.
In addiiton, the UFC has begun to rely more and more on the team of Brian Stann & Jon Anik for commentary duties on cards.