After nearly 20 years of service, Mike Goldberg left his post as play-by-play man for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), as his final broadcast came at UFC 207 on Dec. 30, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Reasons for his firing, however, were rather foggy, as neither he nor the promotion divulged information regarding his sudden departure, as promotion president Dana White left it to Goldberg to spill the beans. And on a recent appearance on The MMA Hour, he did just that.
"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."
Goldberg admits he was caught off guard by the news. "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."
That said, Goldberg says any reason given to him for his release wasn’t going to make him feel better or worse, so he didn’t bother seeking one. Plus, as he puts it, he was just one of many employees who were let go during the time of transition of new ownership.
"No, not at all, not at all. 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."
It's a tough and cold business, indeed.
Despite being in business with UFC president Dana White for nearly two decades, Goldberg revealed that prior to or after his termination, he had zero conversations or contact with White, which he called "surprising and disappointing."
As far as the not getting a farewell tribute or the opportunity for closing remarks at UFC 207, Goldberg says he was initially bummed, but says he is glad they didn’t know a few weeks removed, as the tribute has come from the outpouring of support from fighters and fans alike on social media.
As far as his future plans, Goldberg didn't divulge any information, but says he is far from done using his God-given abilities and talent and he still remains a fan of MMA and the promotion.