(To be fair, “smelling the opening” is still an incredibly popular phrase on the set of blind pornos.)
We would like to preface this article by stating that we in no way have anything against Mike Goldberg the broadcaster. Sure, he falls back on some cliche phrases every now and again and fumbles through the occasional fighter nickname, but how many of us can claim to be batting a thousand at our respective occupations? Rarely a day goes by where I don’t fumble a fact or treat the English language like an experimental concept, and I usually have the benefit of giving my work a once-over (well, a half-over) before publishing it. In short, Goldberg may not be the best in the business, but the fact that he still seems generally enthused to be at any UFC event after all these years — he first started working with the promotion in 1997 — more than compensates for his sporadic (and often hilarious) cluelessness.
However, the NY Post’s Marc Raimondi broke the news yesterday that the announcing team for the UFC’s Fox Sports 1:1 debut in August would not feature Goldberg at all:
Now, while this pairing could be largely based on the fact that both Rogan and Anik have a long history with Massachusetts (Anik was born in Boston, where Rogan also grew up), it could also represent the UFC pulling out all the stops to ensure that their first event on the new FOX Sports 1 channel goes as smoothly as possible. The fact that Rogan and Goldberg were booked as the announcing duo for the UFC’s initial debut on FOX — an arguably bigger deal for the promotion — back in November of 2011 should detract from this theory, but on the other hand, Anik had only joined the UFC’s broadcast team a couple weeks prior to that event.
Anik and Kenny Florian have been holding down the UFC’s FUEL and FX cards ever since, and it appears that the UFC has been more than impressed with his abilities to grant him this opportunity. With Goldberg nearing the big 5-0, perhaps the UFC just wants to mix things up with a couple of fresh faces. You know, to appeal to us yoots.
In addition, Anik’s FUEL broadcast partner and Boston College alumni, Kenny Florian, has been confirmed for a studio role on the evening of the Boston card. Florian will be holding things down alongside UFC Tonight co-host Chael Sonnen, so we can pretty much put to rest any rumors that Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva will be meeting at that event now.
What do you guys think? Is the Rogan/Anik pairing a simple matter of locals getting preference, or is the UFC sending a bigger message here?
One thing’s for sure, Anik better learn to handle Rogan’s “Purple Power Pregame Bud” a little better this time around. Shit nearly killed him in their last outing…