I will give Scott Coker credit, he is doing everything he can to combat Dana White’s MMA kingpin in the UFC. Anytime UFC level talent comes available Coker is there to quickly snatch them in free agency. The most recent Bellator acquisitions are longtime voice of the octagon Mike Goldberg and longtime combat sports commentator Mauro Ranallo. I love both of these guys. Goldberg is the voice I associate with the early stages of the UFC and my budding relationship with MMA. Ranallo is the spicey little one night stand I would spend an amazing night with during Pride or Strikeforce events when lackluster UFC events forced me to take a break. Both of these guys have a special place in my MMA heart. In this case unfortunately, Bellator efforts were once again just off from what they needed.
Either commentator would have been a homerun for the organization had they been signed alone, but together they are a recipe for disaster. In my opinion the best combination for MMA commentary is a play by play voice and a color commentator (i.e. Goldberg/Rogan, Ranallo/Bas). In select instances I do not mind adding a third personality but that individual must be another color guy. Pairing two play by play specialists will undoubtedly lead to very awkward moments that are difficult to listen to. Bellator will now have these two with Jimmy Smith adding the color spots. Too many chefs in the kitchen for me here.
I won’t guarantee failure just yet but hopefully Bellator has a great plan. Signing two big names brings publicity, but they need to find a way to utilize these talents perfectly for any chance of success. The only logical plan in my eyes is to have Ranallo take on more of a color role. He has the knowledge of the sport for this role although it is not ideal. Goldberg on the other hand has proved time and time again he does not possess the knowledge needed. I wish them luck because deep down I would love marketplace competition to push the UFC in improving their product, but again Bellator seems to slightly miss with every big play they make.