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One night only! Sean Grande talks about charitable return to Bellator 196 broadcast booth

Spike TV's 10th Annual Guys Choice Awards - Arrivals Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Bellator 196: “Henderson vs. Huerta” takes place at Budapest Sports Arena in Budapest, Hungary, on April 6, 2018, featuring a Lightweight contest between “Smooth” Benson Henderson (24-8) and returning Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Bellator veteran “El Matador” Roger Huerta (24-9-1, 1 NC) in the main event of the evening.

Joining them that night (outside the cage) will be former Bellator announcer Sean Grande. The voice familiar to both Boston Celtics and fight fans alike is donating from his earnings for the night to help Spanish language Bellator MMA broadcaster Manny Rodriguez with his medical expenses.

Grande has a rather whimsical outlook on the whole thing given that since his own departure Jimmy Smith left for UFC and Mike Goldberg came over to Bellator.

“I wonder what you could have gotten on a prop bet six months ago that this weekend you’d have Grande back with John McCarthy (on) Friday, and Jimmy with Joe Rogan on Saturday?”

There’s also little doubt for Grande as to the irony of it all given he left when the travel schedule for Bellator had taken its toll on his well being.

“It’s funny, this isn’t exactly the cure for what ailed me last year. An international show, with kickboxing, right in the middle of a crazy week for the Celtics. [I] just landed in Milwaukee from the Final Four in San Antonio, [then I] fly to Toronto Tuesday night, then four hours in Boston to change luggage and make the 14-hour trip to Budapest. But, what’s a little REM sleep compared to hanging out with all of you one more time?”

All jokes aside, though, Grande is relishing the opportunity to sit next to “Big” John McCarthy in the broadcast booth and call the action at Budapest Sports Arena.

“I’m genuinely excited to work with John. I was like most people — really impressed with his debut. And it’s also a chance to give Mike [Goldberg] more time with his family, which is cool for me because it’s exactly what he was going to do for me when we were first laying this out a year ago.”

At the end of the day, the most important thing for Grande is that it’s all for a good cause. And hopefully having a little fun while doing so.

“This is about Manny, and what the heck, getting a few more walkout monologues in for old time’s sake.”

If you want to help Manny as well YouCaring fund has been set up to cover his medical expenses. A pulmonary embolism put Manny on the shelf, but with your help and Sean’s he can hopefully return to work soon for himself and his family.

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