UFC broadcaster Mike Goldberg began commentating UFC events in 1997. For the first time in his 17 years with the organization, he sat and watched an event live as a fan on Sunday during The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale.
“It was good. It was fun to not have the headset on and kind of hear the people in the stands,” Goldberg told MMAWeekly.com following the event. “There are a lot of coaches in the stands. It is kind of funny, a lot of people barking instructions at the fighters.”
Watching an event as a fan was difficult for the 49-year-old Ohioan, however. He found himself commentating the event in his mind as it played out.
“They always say once you’re a sports broadcaster, you never watch live sports the same way again. And it’s true. It really is. It’s hard for me to separate myself at times and just be a fan and not be an announcer,” he said.
“It was fun. It was enjoyable. I wish the main event would have been more of a back-and-forth battle – both guys are (future) Hall-of-Famers,” added the UFC commentator.
“Goldie” had a good time watching while others did the job that’s second nature to him. But as nice as it was to take in an event as a fan, Goldberg prefers the broadcasting booth as his cage-side seat.
“Absolutely not. I do not want to become a fan,” he said. “I want to keep announcing. I love this sport. It was a great opportunity, very rare to have back-to-back events. But if I’m coming, I want to put my suit on and my headset.”