Goldberg talks about ‘awkward’ chance meeting with Dana
Mike Goldberg at a UFC event in 2015. | Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
The former UFC commentator still doesn’t know why he was fired from the promotion.
Mike Goldberg started calling fights for the UFC way back in 1997, three years before ZUFFA purchased the promotion and long before MMA would become standard mainstream viewing. Despite his long tenure with the company, Goldberg was shown the door in 2017.
After that Goldberg worked the mic for Bellator before parting ways with that company earlier this year.
In 2017 Goldberg told MMA Fighting that he was “speechless” after he learned he had been let go from the UFC. “I was just in a state of shock and disbelief,” he said. According to Goldberg, the veteran commentator never received an explanation for his termination, nor was there any follow up from UFC President Dana White.
Those latter details meant for an awkward meeting in Las Vegas.
Goldberg told Heavy that he was in Vegas recently for a hockey tournament, where he was coaching his son’s team. It was his son who first noticed White, yelling “Dad, that’s Dana!”
Goldberg expressed a little conflicted on seeing White, but then decided to approach his former boss. “I walked up, and I said, ‘Hey, Dana, how are you?’”
White reportedly responded by asking his former employee, “What the fuck are you doing here?”
According to Goldberg this is one of White’s standard greetings. Goldberg said after that greeting the pair shook hands and chatted briefly. “I said I’d love to stay in touch. He said we should do that. And there you go.”
Goldberg admitted that the meeting was a strange one, given the time that has elapsed and his remaining confusion over why he no longer calls UFC fights.
“After that amount of time, it was just an awkward situation.”
Goldberg add that “It was a fluke (meeting), but then again maybe it was meant to be.”
It’s unclear where we’ll next be able to hear Goldberg calling MMA. He was released from Bellator after that promotion moved to Showtime. It’s believed Showtime preferred to stick with their own Mauro Ranallo and not make room for Goldberg in the booth.
However, Goldberg said there’s a chance he reappears outside the Bellator cage sometime soon. “I still have a great relationship with Scott Coker and everyone over there.”
The next time you can hear Goldberg on the mic will be at BYB Extreme Fighting Series on July 16. He’s due to call the action for that bare knuckle event alongside Paulie Malignaggi.