Joe Rogan & Mike Goldberg: MMA's Most Underrated Announcers

Matt RandallCorrespondent IJanuary 28, 2009

Could it really be true? Really?

Joe Rogan, the stand-up comedian, host of Fear Factor, and self proclaimed pothead, and Mike “Goldie” Golberg, the man known for asking some of the most ridiculous questions and then backpedaling quicker than Lance Armstrong goes forward, are the play-by-play announcers for the UFC.

So how did this unlikely duo come to win over many a heart in the MMA world?

Joe Rogan got his start at the UFC interviewing fighters backstage, while Goldie was doing play-by-play with Jeff Blatnick. Quickly, Rogan took over for Blatnick, which may have seemed strange at the time, but clearly paid dividends.

Goldberg got his start at UFC 16 taking over for Bruce Beck and, in retrospect, changed the play-by-play world forever. Goldberg is known for his hilarious comments and screw-ups, and Rogan has to either try and correct him or simply ignore him.

Again you might ask, how do they still even have jobs?

Well, the good thing about this pot-loving comic is that he loves the sport. He basically bleeds MMA (and maybe some green).

To Rogan, this isn’t a job. He loves being around the sport, and is a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (under Eddie Bravo and Jean Jacques Machada).

When Joe was 15, he earned his black belt in Tae Kwon Do and won four state championships, at 19 he won the US Open as a lightweight, but Joe wasn’t done; he then beat both the middle and heavyweight champion to win the Grand Championship.

This is what makes Joe Rogan special; he knows the sport, he is down to earth, and he is easy to relate to—he likes to party, smoke pot, tell jokes, and he knows a hell of a lot about MMA.

On the same hand, this is what makes Goldie also easy to relate to, he doesn’t seem to know that much (always making mistakes), his jokes are what you might hear at the dinner table as a child with your father, but he is also a down to earth person, who you might know someone just like.

These two commentators are so black and white compared to each other, it's amazing how well they blend together to make the best commentary in MMA.

The only question remaining, in my mind, is that if these guys are the best, or at least close to the top, is there anyone out there giving these guys a run for their money? Are there any commentators out there who are close to dethroning these “kings”?


That seems to be one thing the UFC has on every other MMA league or company out there and for some reason no one else can get it right.

Pride was close with Bas Rutten, but still, sitting through a three-hour event with Bas and Mauro Ranollo makes you wish the UFC would loan them Joe and Goldie like they were soccer players.

I think this became more apparent after watching Affliction: Day of Reckoning. The commentary was probably the worst I had ever heard, which made me actually miss Goldie’s mistakes or random facts I already know (I know Goldie, they wear four oz. gloves).

Frank Trigg and Tito Ortiz are apparently buddies with everyone, even when Tito is getting called on by Sobral. Scott Ferrall sounds like he has tried to smoke as many cigarettes as he possibly can and then eating the butts.

I don’t understand why Joe and Mike seem to be head and shoulders about the playing field. I really used to find Mike annoying and sometimes Joe would give me a headache, but the more I was the UFC the more I have come to love them, and the more I watch cards from other companies the more I miss Joe and Mike.

Maybe it’s one of those clichéd, cheesy lines out of the movies my girlfriend makes me watch: You just don’t know what you got 'til its gone.

Or maybe that’s a song. Either way, I think it applies here.

Sure, the competition may not be too stiff, but Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg are the best play-by-play announcers MMA has to offer. Whether you agree or not, that is up to you.

Just don’t complain when they are gone.