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24th Jan 2017

Dana White comes out of sacked UFC commentator’s first interview extremely badly

"I watched everything around me be shattered"

Patrick McCarry

“Shock and disbelief.”

Those were the overriding feelings for former UFC commentator Mike Goldberg when he learned, late last year, that the promotion would no longer be needing his services.

In early December, the UFC made the decision that it would not be keeping Goldberg on after his 20 years of service. There had long been speculation about new voice calling the action but Goldberg was expected to stay on in some capacity or, at least, be gradually phased out.

WME-IMG, the new owners, opted for a clean, cold cut. They gave Goldberg a month’s notice and, much to the consternation of many fans, fighters and work colleagues, there was little fanfare about his departure, at UFC 207.

Goldberg held his tongue about his departure for over three weeks but, last night, he opened up about the shock he felt when he was cut from a promotion he had done so much to build up. “Character is certainly revealed at times like this,” he commented.

Asked by Ariel Helwani during his MMA Hour interview if the UFC had given him a reason to let him go, Goldberg replied:

“No. Not at all.”

He continued, “Here’s the big thing – I’m no different from the guy in merchandise or the 15 vice presidents who got let go or the entire team in Canada that got shut down. I’m not the only guy who was let go by the new owners – well over a 100 people and good friends of yours and mine.

“I’m the one being talked about because I had the high-profile job but I’m not going to sit here and weep because new ownership came in and I was one of the guys that got cut. I was one of the people – and there was a lot of good people – that got cut…

“I watched everything around me be shattered. It took 15 years to build this wonderful and it felt like it was taking 15 minutes to destroy it.”

Goldberg was extremely stoic and noble during the lengthy interview and he said there were new job opportunities that he was looking into right now.

There were ‘no conversation, no contact’ with UFC president Dana White after the axe fell, which Goldberg said was disappointing to him. This is surprising as Goldberg showed a lot of loyalty to the UFC in its formative years, most particularly when he turned down lucrative advances from the WWE.

To sum up the family bond that existed during the UFC’s Zuffa years, Goldberg told a nice story about how former owner Lorenzo Fertitta sponsored his son’s baseball team for years. And, when it came to to say goodbye to his long-time co-commentator Joe Rogan after UFC 207, there were ‘a few big hugs and tears’.

“There is one thing that will never be taken away,” he declared, “and that’s our friendship and the great run and the memories we’ve had together.”

You can watch the full interview here: