Having a tenure rivaled only by that of UFC matchmaker Joe Silva, Buffer’s legacy spans nearly 17 years, numerous continents and countless cities. Along the way, he has risen to cult celebrity status in a sport that has gone from the bingo halls of the Southern United States to the bright lights of Las Vegas and every corner of the globe. He has witnessed debauchery, fist fights, met John Wayne, got punched by Frank Trigg, and everything in between.
Perhaps that is why, after all this time, Buffer has finally joined the ranks of MMA authors and released his own book: It’s Time! My 360-Degree View of the UFC. It’s available in stores now.
In fact, as Buffer recently told MMAWeekly.com, he may have more live UFC experience than Silva, the company’s resident historian.
“I’ve been with the UFC, not just announcing, but doing business with them since 1995,” said the legendary voice-smith. “I first announced at UFC 8, and then UFC 13 on, as the book tells.
“Now, after all that time, and at the age I’m at – having seen 17-plus years of UFC action – I’ve attended more events than I think anybody else. The longest standing employee in the UFC, besides me, is Joe Silva. And we were just talking the other day and even he said he hasn’t been to every event. So I’ve probably been to more events than anybody, seeing more than anyone else has in a live situation.”
With all the hysteria around mixed martial arts recently, Buffer felt it was time to share some of the stories he is constantly asked about on while out on the road.
“I get tons of emails, and tons of questions asked through my podcast, as well as in-person at shows about this, about that. I get asked about how I got there, what I did in the past, what I’m doing in the future,” said the 55-year-old.
“So, now, I just think it’s time I told (everyone). I just think it’s time. With everything going on in the UFC, and where we’re standing – it’s the fastest growing sport in the world – I just felt this was the time to tell the story.”
It’s Time! is part memoir and part motivational.
Readers follow Buffer through his unconventional upbringing. His father had him playing poker and blackjack at age 5, and had him field stripping a Luger, blindfolded, at age 10. He talks about his relationship with his half-brother, Michael Buffer of “let’s get ready to rumble” fame – a brother he didn’t even know existed until he was in his 30s. He then works his way up to his time in the world’s premier fighting organization.
Buffer also gives readers a direct insight into his personality, as the book is littered with “Bufferisms” throughout. These little nuggets of motivation are an added bonus to the stories being told along the way. For a man who has become shrouded by the caged mystique that being an announcer offers, readers get a quick introduction into the personality behind the famous voice.
Take for example, “Bufferism No. 4 – BSC: Balls, Skill, Confidence,” something which Buffer says is his “theory on life.”
It’s short, sweet, and very much to the point, letting MMA fans around the globe gain insight into the man behind the mic.
“Really, what it was, is I didn’t want to write a stale book,” said an impassioned Buffer.
“The UFC fans are very Internet savvy. I wanted to tell the stories that people don’t know, or only knew slightly about, but from my side, my perspective, because I was there.
“And at the same time, I’m a very positive person,” he added. “I treat people with great respect. We live in a decaying society of morality, which bugs me on a daily basis. I consider myself one of the last chivalrous white knights out there. I’m completely honest with everyone I deal with. I genuinely care about people. I want to see people succeed and be the best that they can be. So, I wanted to write a motivational book about life, love and the pursuit of happiness.”
It may sound like Buffer is channeling his inner Zig Ziglar, but for anyone that knows him, that’s a large part of his personality. He is a positive, encouraging person, something that he hopes to convey with It’s Time.
“I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I had to fight for everything I’ve achieved in my life – which is true about all of us,” said Buffer. “And I truly believe that we are all created equal. It’s about the paths we choose. I don’t care if you want to be a fighter, CEO of a business, busboy in a restaurant, actor, model, whatever; the bottom line is, just be the best you can be.
“I don’t judge people on the cars they drive or the money they make. I weigh people by the quality of person they are and how well they do what they do, how much pride they take, and how much passion they give.”
When picking up It’s Time, the theme of passion is omnipresent, as Buffer takes us on a quirky journey of narrative, wisdom, and history. In fact, passion is what drives Buffer on a daily basis.
“Superman walks around with an ‘S’ on his chest,” he elaborated. “I walk around with a ‘P’ on my chest, and that P stands for Passion.
“I live my life by passion. In order to travel 30-plus weeks a year, you better have a passion for what you’re doing. I’m spending three to four days a week away from my loved ones, minimum. So I have to be passionate about what I do, or else I’m just in this for the paycheck. And I’ll always cash the paycheck, but I’m not about the money. I do quite well. I’m fine.
“It’s all about enjoying what I do. And that’s the way I announce; I throw my passion into that Octagon. The moment that passion for what I’m doing, the warriors I’m announcing for, the great UFC that I work for, my loyalty to Dana White and the Fertitta brothers for all they’ve done… if my passion starts to wane, then it’s seriously time to start considering retirement.”
The book covers everything that you might come to expect from the “last chivalrous white knight” of MMA. If you’re looking for dirty stories from the road, there’s a bit of that. As Buffer said, “I had to condense that chapter, believe me.” If you’re looking for behind the scenes access, there’s plenty of that. If you’re looking for insight on how and why Bruce Buffer became the person he is today; well, you’ll know Bruce Buffer after reading these 274 pages of MMA history from his perspective.
And to those looking for a sequel, have little fear, because this could just be the beginning.
“I’ll tell you one thing; when you’re writing a book, I found out I forgot a lot more than I remembered,” Buffer added. “Part of the pleasure of writing the book was going back and sparking some of those memories. After finishing the book, I could write a whole other book on all the things I remembered after finishing.”
(Follow @RyanMcKinnell on Twitter)
© 2013 MMA Weekly All Rights Reserved.