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Bellator adds Mike Goldberg, Mauro Ranallo to broadcast booth

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Bellator’s big Madison Square Garden card will feature the debuts of two of mixed martial arts’ most familiar faces.

The company announced on Tuesday that veteran broadcasters Mike Goldberg and Mauro Ranallo will join the broadcast booth for Bellator NYC on June 24.

"Mike Goldberg and Mauro Ranallo are two of the best in our business and I couldn't be happier about them joining the Bellator family," said Bellator CEO Scott Coker in a statement. "In addition to June 24, we look forward to working together to make future Spike broadcasts even more exciting for our fans as we add further depth to an already-exceptional broadcast team.”

Goldberg was the UFC’s lead play-by-play announcer for nearly two decades, forming an iconic duo with color commentator Joe Rogan. Goldberg was let go by the UFC at the end of last year when new UFC owners WME-IMG chose not to renew his deal.

Ranallo, meanwhile, has long been one of combat sports’ most versatile announcers as a lead voice on everything from mixed martial arts to boxing to pro wrestling. Among his gigs, Ranallo was Showtime’s lead MMA play-by-play announcer in Coker’s Strikeforce promotion, and remains the cable network’s lead boxing voice.

With both names known for their play-by-play calls, it’s not yet clear how Bellator will handle lead duties. In a press release, the company simply noted the duo would join longtime color commentator Jimmy Smith, Jenn Brown, and Chael Sonnen on the broadcast team.

“The addition of highly-regarded announcers Mauro and Mike to our fantastic lineup of broadcasters, and our first-rate production led by Scott Fishman, further demonstrates our commitment MMA fans and expanding the global Bellator brand,” said Spike SVP of Sports and Specials Jon Slusser.

The news comes one day after Sean Grande, the company’s play-by-play announcer for the past two years, revealed he was no longer continuing in that capacity.

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