Although it was a shock to many when longtime UFC commentator Mike Goldberg was revealed as one of the casualties of the UFC’s new ownership, WME-IMG, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he could become the latest UFC free agent picked up by Bellator.
Bellator has a full commentary team intact – which includes Sean Grande, Jimmy Smith, and Chael Sonnen – but company president Scott Coker, during a media scrum in London on Thursday, indicated that Bellator has been in talks with Goldberg about a possible role with the promotion.
“He’s somebody that we’ve been talking to,” said Coker. “I’m not sure what’s going to happen there. We have a great play-by-play guy right now.”
He went on to note that, while Grande is the promotion’s play-by-play commentator, there are upcoming dates where Grande’s job with the NBA’s Boston Celtics conflict with Bellator events, perhaps leaving an opening for Goldberg to step through the door.
“I know there’s a few dates that Sean can’t do because he also has commitments for basketball with the Celtics, so I think that Goldie might be a guy that could come in and take some of those dates,” Coker continued.
“Wouldn’t it be great to see Goldie and Jimmy and Chael. That would be a nice little play-by-play and color commentary team, but like I said, Sean Grande is our guy.”
Goldberg began working for the UFC in 1997. On Dec. 28 at UFC 207, Goldberg did play-by-play for his final UFC event. The fight promotion opted to not to renew his contract.
Goldberg found out on Dec. 1 that he would no longer be an employee of the UFC. After receiving the news, the Ohio native fulfilled his duties as he always had, opting not to publicly talk about his situation until after his final event.
Admitting that he was shocked when it happened, Goldberg is now free to entertain offers, which includes his recent talks with Bellator.
Aside from his two decades with the UFC, Goldberg has also served as a play-by-play announcer for the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings and Minnesota Wild. At one time during his UFC tenure, Goldberg had been doggedly pursued by the WWE, though he ultimately declined the professional wrestling organization’s overtures.