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11th Dec 2016

Dana White hints that Joe Rogan is set to get a new UFC commentary partner

What's next for Goldie?

Darragh Murphy

It will be very strange to hear Joe Rogan accompanied by anyone other than Mike Goldberg.

All signs are pointing towards a shuffle of the UFC’s main commentary team and it’s looking like the days of the Goldberg/Rogan partnership are numbered.

UFC president Dana White has hinted that a new name is on the way in after being pursued by the organisation for some time.

“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,” White told Sportsnet.

The UFC typically uses two-man commentary teams which would suggest that something within the current set-up is set to change but White was nothing but complimentary of Rogan in the same interview, leading one to believe that it’s Goldberg who will be on the way out.

UFC 200 - Weigh-in

“Joe Rogan in my opinion is the greatest to ever do it,” White continued. “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.”

Recently, industry insider Dave Meltzer announced that the UFC, following the summer takeover by WME-IMG, was open to a move away from the current style of announcing ahead of the renewal of its broadcast rights.

In recent months, when Rogan re-negotiated his contract with the UFC, the stand-up comedian agreed terms to lighten his schedule and he now only provides colour commentary on pay-per-view events in North America while former UFC fighters Brian Stann and Kenny Florian fill in alongside Jon Anik on fight nights and events overseas.

The rumoured plans to replace Goldberg in the commentary booth were only fuelled on a recent episode of The Joe Rogan Experience when guest and close friend of Rogan’s, Eddie Bravo, suddenly asked “Who’s taking Mike Goldberg’s spot?”, a question which was greeted with an awkward silence and a swift subject change in studio.

Many fans recognised some tension between Rogan and Goldberg during the UFC 206 broadcast on Saturday night, with many pointing towards the way that the former dealt with the incorrect call from the latter when Donald Cerrone knocked out Matt Brown as proof that their relationship isn’t what it used to be.

The final pay-per-view of 2016 will take place on December 30, with UFC 207 set to be headlined by a returning Ronda Rousey against UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes.

Both Rogan and Goldberg are expected to be covering the event but who knows what 2017 will hold for the men who have been part of the organisation since 1997.

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