#10: Frank Trigg‘s stunned disbelief
Affliction: Banned, 7/19/08
It’s not that Trigg’s reaction when Fedor started landing bombs on Tim was inappropriate; in fact, this was pretty much how we reacted during the fight. But when you’re being paid actual money to give insightful commentary about a sporting event, the viewers at home deserve a little better than ”OH! OH-HO! OH-HO! OH-HO-NO-HO! OH!” Especially when you consider that this is a recurring trend with Trigg — when crazy shit goes down, the eloquence-train flies off the tracks, so to speak.
The answer: Really. It’s really precise. Man, sometimes Mike is better off keeping his mouth shut until it’s time to ask Joe Rogan whether or not a fighter’s arm is in trouble. By the way, if you can watch that video for all ten minutes, we’ll send you a t-shirt.
#8: Kimbo Slice fails third-grade geography
K-1′s World Grand Prix 2008 Final, 12/6/08
(Unfortunately, we couldn’t find a working video of this moment. Hopefully this Esther Lin/Lolcats mashup will be sufficient.)
Okay, give Kimbo a break. The man was extremely jet-lagged, and he clearly meant “the prefecture of Japan known as Kanagawa, which has Yokohama as its capital, where we are right now.” It’s not like he asked co-commentator Michael Schiavello what the fuck up with all the Chinese people in the building. That would have been embarrassing. And speaking of which…
#7: Michael Schiavello knows two things for sure
Michael “The Voice” Schiavello’s jarring metaphors and one-liners during K-1, K-1 Dynamite!!, and DREAM broadcasts make Mauro Ranallo look halfway-sane by comparison. The batshit Australian’s website includes a list of his “best” moments, and they’re all terrible. For example:
Wow, you’re so hip, Mike! Your children must think you’re the coolest!
#6: Bill Goldberg wishes you would learn the language
EliteXC: The Return of the King, 6/14/08
There’s no getting around it — Bill Goldberg is an asshole. That fact was always apparent when he physically dragged fighters to the center of the cage for post-fight interviews during Showtime’s EliteXC broadcasts, and it was particularly clear after Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante‘s first-round TKO win over Wayne Cole at “Return of the King.” Clearly bothered by the fact that Feijao isn’t a native English speaker, Goldberg says “We’re gonna look at the replay…I would ask you to talk me through it but your English isn’t the best, so we’ll just watch it at the same time.” GIVE THIS MAN AN EMMY. Luckily, Feijao diffuses the awkward moment by shrugging off the diss and walking Goldberg through the replay anyway. Honorable mention: Goldberg tells Phil Baroni that he’s circumcised. Good to know.
#5: Mauro Ranallo keeps it classy
EliteXC: Uprising, 9/15/07
Here’s another awful commentary moment involving Bill Goldberg, though the lunkheaded pro-wrestler is merely the straight-man this time. Skip to the 3:29 mark of the above video for this cringe-worthy exchange during EliteXC: Uprising’s Gina Carano/Tonya Evinger scrap:
Goldberg: “And I’m not going to touch that one with a 25-foot pole, Mauro.”
Damn it, Mauro — women are not just your playthings! Though considering some of the other stories we’ve heard about Ranallo, this little bit of on-air sexual harassment wasn’t that surprising.
#4: Bill Wallace introduces a new sport to America like a total professional
UFC 1, 11/12/93
“Hello ladies and gentlemen, you are about to see something that you have never seen before. The Ultimate Fighting Challenge. Hello, I’m Bill Wallace, and welcome to McNichols Ar[burps], ‘scuse me, McNichols Arena…”
It’s a miracle that the Ultimate Fighting Championship — yes, Championship, not Challenge — even survived the commentary nightmare-team of Bill “Superfoot” Wallace, Jim Brown, and Kathy Long at UFC 1. The entire video above is worth watching, but we can’t get over the fact that Wallace actually burped through the intro. (Were the nachos and root beer two minutes before airtime really necessary?) Little-known bit of UFC trivia: Rorion Gracie invented the phrase “act like you’ve been there before” that night, while chewing Bill out backstage.
#3: Gus Johnson sells it a little too hard
EliteXC: Heat, 10/4/08
When Ken Shamrock suspiciously dropped out of his fight against Kimbo Slice at EliteXC’s fateful final event, many fans thought Kimbo would be in serious trouble against the fairly-legitimate Seth Petruzelli, who he hadn’t prepared for. Announcer Gus Johnson was not one of those people. In his eyes, Kimbo was indestructible — a real-life Clubber Lang — and defeating him would represent a monumental achivement. So when it actually happened, he responded accordingly: “ROCKY! ROCKY IS HERE! SETH PETRUZELLI SHOCKS THE WORLD!” And then, a line that will hopefully haunt Gus for the rest of his broadcasting career: “THE MOST INCREDIBLE VICTORY IN THE HISTORY OF MIXED MARTIAL ARTS!” Maybe if the sport’s history began that afternoon, you could possibly make that argument. But in reality, Johnson just came off as an ill-informed blowhard noob.
#2: Scott Ferrall’s aural assault
YAMMA Pit Fighting 1, 4/11/08
We really wish we could find the highlight-video of this, but the Internet seems to have swallowed it in anger. But basically, Scott Ferrall — who’s a radio host despite having the most horrendous-sounding voice in human history — was booked as the ring announcer for YAMMA’s ill-fated first/last event. Not only was he a pain to listen to, but his introductions made absolutely no fucking sense whatsoever. For example:
— ”Kevin Mulhall will be our referee for this beautiful matchup of warriors and freaks ready to pound and dance…”
— “And here he is, fight-fans, you love him, you know him, you’re used to the bridge that comes from the big 6’4″, 264 pounds of thick, bringin’ it hard leverage, 27-8-and 0…”
— “Here we are, after the tournament and 2 victories apiece for these badasses and warriors, ready for the heavyweight title and grabbing that YAMMA Pit belt, the strap-on. This is what it’s all about at the Taj, Are you ready to dance, shake it oooohhhh?”
It went on like this, all night. The inclined YAMMA pit was supposed to be the future of MMA — and a man with throat cancer and dementia was supposed to be the future of MMA ring announcing. Makes you appreciate Bruce Buffer just a little bit more, huh?
#1 (87-way tie): Everything Tito Ortiz said during Affliction: Day of Reckoning
Let us tell you how we’re feeling right now — Tito Ortiz was the worst thing to ever happen to MMA commentary. Every time he opened his mouth during January’s Day of Reckoning broadcast, the world got a little stupider. For a refresher course on his disastrous performance, read this roundup of his quotes, or just watch the funky music video above (highlights start at the 1:43 mark). “I want to tell me what you see, let’s go ahead and see by the fight, what you saw, in the ring.” Seriously, bro? You couldn’t think of an easier way to say that? Even Jesse and Journey Jett are more articulate than you at this point. Let’s hope they’re not going to be home-schooled, by the way…
Did we miss any good ones? Let us know in the comments section!