Goldberg on his UFC departure: ‘I watched everything around me be shattered’
For the first time after his UFC contract was terminated, Mike Goldberg spoke about it openly. Despite the fact that he dedicated 20 years of his life to this promotion, Goldberg is very disappointed with how it ended between him and the UFC.
“It was a shock,” Goldberg said on The MMA Hour. “I was speechless. I didn’t know what type of emotion to have, because I was just in a state of shock and disbelief. People love that warm, fuzzy blanket. That’s what you were describing a second ago, and (longtime broadcast partner) Joe (Rogan) and I have been that warm, fuzzy blanket for a long time when it came to the UFC. Everybody gets new blankets and they get new furniture, but at the end of the day, when you cuddle up on a Sunday and you watch football, that blanket in the corner that’s got holes in it, and it’s kinda smelly but that’s your blanket, that’s the one you utilize.
“Joe and I have been so blessed and fortunate to be — and I love the description, ‘the soundtrack’ — so blessed and fortunate to be the soundtrack of the UFC for so long, that it really was, I was in shock and disbelief for that reason.”
“I’m no different than the guy in merchandise, or the 15 vice presidents who got let go, or the entire team in Canada that was shut down,” Goldberg said. “I’m not the only guy who was let go by the new ownership. Well over 100 people [were let go], and good friends of both yours and mine. 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. I was one of a lot of people, and a lot of good people, from the Zuffa era who got cut. And so I felt for my co-workers, for my friends, as much as I felt for myself.
“I watched everything around me be shattered,” Goldberg continued. “It took 15 years to build this wonderful family, and it felt like it was taking 15 minutes to destroy it. And it just was a really tough time, and it may still be tough. There may be more to come throughout the UFC family. This is not uncommon in an ownership change with anything. It might just be corporate America, it might be on Wall Street. In this instance, it’s a sports property.
“So what reason were they going to give me? And would that make me feel any better or any worse? No, not at all. So honestly, I just felt respect for the other members of the family that also were released, and I’m no better than any of those guys. So, it is what it is. Extremely disappointing, don’t get me wrong. But mostly disappointing because our family has really been torn, and that’s what I’ll miss the most.”
Dana White never contacted him either.
“No conversations, no contact. Nothing, really,” Goldberg said. “Nothing. Which was surprising. Disappointing, certainly. But nothing was said, and I’ve got to live with that. At the end of the day, what matters to me is my family, my children. But no, to answer your question directly, there was no conversation. Nothing at all.”