Now that Mike Goldberg is out as the play by play announcer for UFC events rumors are swirling online that Jim Rome is headed to the UFC to cover events with color commentator Joe Rogan later this year. Former UFC fighter Chael Sonnen, who now hosts one of the top MMA podcasts, “You’re Welcome” has been saying for over a month on his show that Rome is all but a lock to be coming to the UFC later this year when his contract with CBS expires.
Rome is one of the most popular sports talk personalities in the country and it looks like the brass at WME wants him alongside Rogan calling UFC pay per views instead of Goldberg. The brash and opinionated sports personality will command a healthy paycheck from the UFC to leave his gig at CBS but it may attract new viewers. Now that WME is on the hook to recoup their $4 billion investment in the UFC a lot of changes are taking place and longtime fixtures in the UFC like Goldberg and former matchmaker Joe Silva are on their way out.
Goldberg quietly walked away and it’s not clear if he left, was fired or couldn’t come to terms on a new contract with WEM. He never really got to see goodbye to fans after UFC 207 last month but he did post a very nice letter on Twitter thanking his supporters after ten years calling the action in the octagon.
What an incredible ride! I’ll forever be grateful for being on this journey with all of you for the last 19 years! pic.twitter.com/reg3APxk9X
— Mike Goldberg (@MFG16) January 7, 2017
Ironically enough if you check out Goldie’s twitter account he recently began following Bellator and Scott Coker, the promotion’s President. Bellator has been throwing money at a lot of former UFC fighters the last two years as they are trying to build up their roster to become a legitimate threat to Dana White’s group. Adding Goldberg and his voice to Bellator would instantly give the promotion a lot of credibility as fans have listened to him call fights for a decade. Bellator’s color commentator, Jimmy Smith is very similar to Joe Rogan and Goldberg could be slid and have a smooth transition to enhance the broadcasts live on Spike TV.
Another promotion that Goldberg is showing interest in is One FC, which is basically the UFC in Asia. One FC Victor Cui was recently followed by Goldberg which could be read into as him having interest in calling fights oversees. Goldie also began following former UFC middleweight champ Rich Franklin who is also the VP of One FC. I’m sure Franklin’s relationship with Goldberg in the UFC could lead him to trust Franklin and One FC as he steps out of his comfort zone and into a different country calling fights.
Former WWE annoucer Todd Grisham recently signed with the UFC and it’s thought he could fill in the gap that Goldberg left until Rome is contractually allowed to appear on UFC programming.
Nothing is in stone but big changes are coming for the UFC and potentially Goldberg once he decides where to go now that he’s a free agent.