Goldie explains why he photobombed UFC event…
Mike Goldberg had barely been gone from the UFC for two weeks when cameras caught him attending a UFC event. Not only that, the longtime commentator even flashed the old “shaka” hand signals to the camera. Not exactly what you would expect from a guy who had been unceremoniously booted from the promotion just two weeks prior.
— MMA GIFS (@mma_gifs_) January 16, 2017
Many fans were upset to learn that UFC 207 would be Goldberg’s final event for the company. WME-IMG opted not to renew his contract for 2017 however, and just like that he was gone. His departure wasn’t even mentioned on air.
A lot has changed in the UFC since WME-IMG bought the promotion. From bizarre interim title fights to borderline unforgivable roster cuts, the talent agency’s takeover of the company has been controversial to say the least.
When WME-IMG took over there were multiple rounds of layoffs, including the closing of several international offices. Chuck Liddell and Matt Hughes’ cushy “no-show” jobs were gone as well. Before the year was over the new owners even ripped apart the longtime announce team of Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan. Goldberg’s departure further signified the ending of an era for the UFC.
Mike Goldberg Photobombs UFC: Phoenix
So why exactly did Mike Goldberg show up at a UFC event just 16 days after the company failed to give him a proper send-off on his final show? He was there to see B.J Penn, same thing most others at the event were doing.
“B.J Penn is one of my favorite people in the world, and I went that night for B.J. Penn,”
Goldberg had been sitting in a suite, but opted to find an empty seat in the stands to watch a few of the fights. He picked a random empty seat and just happened to be shown on camera while there. That he got shown on-air was purely an accident, one Goldberg imagines the UFC wasn’t too happy about.
“Oooohhhh, just think about it for a second. One of 18,000 seats. One of how many crowd shots. They could’ve taken any camera other than that. And it was just meant to be. I mean, it was unbelievable. The chances of that happening… it wasn’t even my ticket. I wasn’t even supposed to be in the stands. I was ‘that dude’ getting past the usher, grabbing an empty seat to get closer to the action.”
Recently Scott Coker has expressed interest in bringing Goldberg to Bellator MMA.