Bellator MMA makes big move adding Mike Goldberg, Mauro Ranallo to broadcast team
The pair of veteran announcers will debut at the June 24 pay-per-view card in New York
One day after blow-by-blow announcer Sean Grande announced he was leaving the Bellator MMA announce desk, the fight promotion added to its upcoming broadcasts in a big way.
Bellator announced a new three-man booth on Tuesday, featuring veteran mixed martial arts announcers Mike Goldberg and Mauro Ranallo, who will join color analyst Jimmy Smith beginning with the Bellator NYC: Sonnet vs. Silva pay-per-view on June 24 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
"Mike Goldberg and Mauro Ranallo are two of the best in our business and I couldn't be happier about them joining the Bellator family," Bellator president Scott Coker said. "In addition to June 24, we look forward to working together to make future Spike broadcasts even more exciting for our fans as we add further depth to an already-exceptional broadcast team."
Grande, the radio voice of the Boston Celtics, stepped down after two years in order to spend more time with his family after Bellator's schedule increased in 2017. That opened up room for the pair of high-profile names to join the company just weeks before the second PPV card in Bellator history, one featuring the likes of UFC alums Chael Sonnen, Wanderlei Silva, Phil Davis and legendary heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko.
"The addition of highly-regarded announcers Mauro and Mike to our fantastic lineup of broadcasters, and our first-rate production led by Scott Fishman, further demonstrates our commitment MMA fans and expanding the global Bellator brand," said John Slusser, Spike's SVP of sports and specials.
Goldberg, 52, saw his nearly 20-year run as the voice of UFC broadcasts come to an abrupt end in January as part of a series of changes following last July's UFC sale to new owners WME-IMG. The versatile announcer has also worked on NHL and NFL broadcasts.
Ranallo, 47, continues his run as combat sports' busiest voices by returning to MMA. The current voice of Showtime Championship Boxing recently cut ties with WWE after a 16-month run but has extensive MMA experience calling fights for Pride, Strikeforce and Elite XC, as well as Glory Kickboxing.
While the idea of a three-man booth might sound clunky considering both Goldberg and Ranallo are natural blow-by-blow announcers, Ranallo did well as the third voice with Strikeforce in previous years, floating between roles. The addition of both announcers is a good one for Bellator in terms of drawing in more viewers and presenting a more must-see broadcast, especially with Goldberg still so identified with rival UFC.
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