Mike Goldberg’s last hurrah as one of the true voices of the the world’s premier MMA promotion fell at UFC 207 on Dec. 30, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
There was no grand gesture or tribute afforded to highlight the 19+ years of service given by the popular commentator, which was underwhelming for fighters and fans alike.
While the MMA world was left to speculate as to the motives for his departure, reasons for Goldberg leaving were never disclosed by UFC officials or Goldberg himself. On Monday’s episode of the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, the former ‘voice of the octagon’ spoke about shock of receiving news that his contract would not be renewed:
“Around December 1, I got the news that my contract would not be renewed. So I was given about a month’s notice and I had a couple of shows left. I had Urijah Faber’s last show, which was awesome. I had the trip to Toronto, and of course UFC 207 was my last show.”
When asked of his initial reaction when finding out that he was being let go, Goldberg said:
“It was a shock, I was speechless and I didn’t know what kind of emotion to have because I was just in a state of shock and disbelief.”
Goldberg was very diplomatic in expressing his sentiments towards the UFC, and held back from firing any shots at Dana White and co:
“Here’s the real situation. I’m no different than the guy in merchandise or 15 vice presidents who got let go or the entire team in Canada that was shut down,” he said.
“I am not the only guy that was let go by the new ownership. It was well over 100 people. 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 who got cut,” he added.
“I was one of a lot of people, a lot of good people from the ZUFFA era that got caught. So I feel for my co-workers, for my friends as much as I felt for myself. I watched everything around me be shattered. It took 15 years to build this wonderful family, and it felt like it took 15 minutes to destroy it. And it was a really tough time, and it’s still a tough time because there may be more to come. This is not uncommon with an ownership change.”
Goldberg did acknowledge the tributes and praise directed towards him when it was announced that he was leaving, and was very humble in his gratitude.
Mike Goldberg will be missed.