“Big” John McCarthy has provided a theory on why Mike Goldberg has been removed from the Bellator commentating team.
Fans who tuned into last Friday’s Bellator 255 card were greeted with a new commentating crew, one absent of the man who has been considered a leading voice of the promotion over the last three years: Mike Goldberg. Instead, the crew consisted of Mauro Ranallo on play-by-play duties alongside John McCarthy and Josh Thomson on color commentary. After the event, Bellator President Scott Coker elaborated on the decision to move on from Goldberg at the commentating table (transcription via MMA Junkie).
“Listen, Mike is – one, he’s a friend,” Coker said. “He’s been a voice of MMA for such a long time, along with Mauro. I mean, Mauro, he’s been around (since during) PRIDE with Bas Rutten. This is way back (in) ’97, ’98, ’99.
“At one time, we had the two best on the planet. It was a production decision and they decided to move forward. That’s where we stand. But you know what? This is the kind of business that, you never know. If there’s boxing on one side and Mauro is doing it, who knows what will happen in the future? But that’s the way it rolled out.”
John McCarthy Shares His Theory On Why Goldberg Was Replaced
Not handcuffed by the same diplomatic expectations of Coker, “Big” John McCarthy was able to shed his own deeper insight on why Mike Goldberg may have been removed from Bellator’s commentating crew.
“There was never a doubt in my mind Mauro was gonna be the guy going into (the Showtime deal) because he’s been with Showtime for 15 years with Showtime Sports,” McCarthy said on the Unlocking The Cage podcast. “The guy’s incredible. I think with Mike, the whole thing they’re looking at is, unfortunately, they had the one guy they have with Mauro. And I think they’re kind of looking at Mike almost like a UFC guy, and they’re wanting to separate themselves from that type of thing.”
Even though Bellator and Goldberg have split as of now, McCarthy is hopeful that things change in the future due to the amount of content that Showtime is producing.
“There’s gonna be ShowBox on a Saturday and Bellator on a Friday, and they’re gonna need somebody else,” McCarthy said. “So hopefully, he gets a call and he can come back and do what he does.”
What would you like to see next for Mike Goldberg?