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Mike Goldberg speaks on UFC Departure

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With long time UFC commentator Mike Goldberg leaving the booth for good after UFC 207, little was given away regarding the reasons that the UFC brought an end to a 20-year career of calling the action.

Speaking to Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour in his first interview since his departure, Goldberg revealed the answers to some of the questions fans were wondering, including when he was told of his impending release and the shock he felt at receiving the news.

Right around December 1st I got the news that my contract would not be renewed so I was given about a month’s notice,” Goldberg said. “It was a shock. I was speechless. I didn’t know what type of emotion to have because I was just in a state of shock and disbelief. People love that warm, fuzzy blanket and that’s what you were describing a second ago; Joe [Rogan] and I have been that warm, fuzzy blanket for a long time when it came to the UFC.”

Joe and I have been so blessed and fortunate to be — and I love the description, ‘soundtrack’ — so blessed and fortunate to be the ‘soundtrack’ of the UFC for so long, that it really was, I was in shock and disbelief for that reason.”

‘Goldie’ would also go on to open up about how he went about preparing for his final show as the UFC’s play-by-play commentator and the immediate aftermath of signing off for the final time.

Character is revealed in times of adversity and that’s what drove me. The most important thing to me as a professional was to continue to do the best I could do on every single broadcast; to not alter my studies in any way possible, to not alter the timeline of my voice overs and when they were due in production, to not change anything… to go out as a professional.”

“Joe and I had a lot of fun at UFC 207, we had a lot of laughs and Joe said: ‘That was one of our best shows ever.'”

We all sat there as the building was cleared, and we actually all got in the Octagon and did pictures,” Goldberg said. “Joe and I had a couple of big hugs. There were tears. There was confusion. Disbelief, for sure. We all went back to the dressing room, and Bruce Connal, our longtime producer, and Anthony Giordano, we all just sat there for about an hour and we just shook our heads. Like, ‘how is this happening? How is this ending?‘ Back to the shock and disbelief.”

When asked about whether he was given a reason as to his release from the promotion, Goldberg revealed that he wasn’t interested in an answer for a myriad of reasons.

I’m no different than the guy in merchandise, or the 15 vice presidents who got let go, or the entire team in Canada that was shut down,” Goldberg said in relation to the large amount of lay-offs ratified since WME-IMG’s purchase of the promotion. “I’m not the only guy who was let go by the new ownership. Well over 100 people, and good friends of both yours and mine. 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. I was one of a lot of people, and a lot of good people, from the Zuffa era who got cut. And so I felt 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 was taking 15 minutes to destroy it. And it just was a really tough time, and it may still be tough. There may be more to come throughout the UFC family. This is not uncommon in an ownership change with anything. It might just be corporate America, it might be on Wall Street. In this instance, it’s a sports property.”

So what reason were they going to give me? And would that make me feel any better or any worse? No, not at all. So honestly, I just felt respect for the other members of the family that also were released, and I’m no better than any of those guys. So, it is what it is. Extremely disappointing, don’t get me wrong. But mostly disappointing because our family has really been torn, and that’s what I’ll miss the most.”

Goldberg would also speak of more disappointment since leaving the UFC as he admitted that there had been no contact from UFC president Dana White since leaving the promotion.

“No conversations, no contact. Nothing, really,” Goldberg said. “Nothing. Which was surprising. Disappointing, certainly. But nothing was said, and I’ve got to live with that. At the end of the day, what matters to me is my family, my children. But no, to answer your question directly, there was no conversation. Nothing at all.”

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Interviews

Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”

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Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:

Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”

Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.

Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”

Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.

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Announcement

Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217

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UFC 217 just got even more interesting. Earlier this week, Patrick Cummins pulled out of his light heavyweight matchup with Corey Anderson due to a Staph infection. Corey “Overtime” Anderson was not happy with his opponents decision, even calling out his opponent on Instagram asking how Cummins could, “call it quits so far from fight night”.

The UFC left Anderson on the card, and he found an opponent through the magic of Twitter. Ovince Saint Preux tweeted out directly to Anderson stating:

It didn’t take long for Anderson to respond agreeing to the fight, tagging Mick Maynard and Dana White in his response.

Only a few short hours later, the fight announcement came from the official UFC twitter account.

 

This top 10 Light Heavyweight matchup should add to an already amazing card coming in November at Madison Square Garden. Saint Preux is coming off of back to back wins both due to the very rare von flue choke, he finds himself ranked #7th in the latest edition of the 205-pound rankings. Corey “Overtime” Anderson is 4-2 in his last 6 fights, but is coming off a brutal first round knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa in March.

With such a exciting fight added to this card, what do you see happening November 4th?  Will Corey Anderson bounce back and look to jump into the top 5 of the rankings, or will Ovince Saint Preux go for a third straight von flue choke? Let us know.

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Announcement

*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results

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Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.

Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)

Main Card:

Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)

Preliminary Card:

Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)

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