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01st Jan 2017

Fighters line up to pay tribute to Mike Goldberg as he bows out without proper send-off

A bizarrely quiet exit

Darragh Murphy

“Happy new year everyone. So long.”

Those were the last words spoken by Mike Goldberg for the UFC on Friday night.

UFC 207 marked the end of the long-time UFC commentator’s time with the world’s preeminent mixed martial arts organisation as the promotion bids to go in a new direction with their broadcasts.

UFC president Dana White confirmed prior to the event that it would be Goldberg’s last, having previously stated that he was close to securing a deal to “assemble this dream team of commentating.”

Rumour has it that Jim Rome is the man who will be joining Joe Rogan cageside for future UFC pay-per-view broadcasts.

Goldberg’s final day with the UFC headset was a memorable one, as he was present for one of the biggest cards of the year, calling the action as Ronda Rousey returned and was torn apart by defending UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes in the UFC 207 main event.

But it disappointed plenty of fight fans to see that such a legend of the UFC was not recognised with some kind of tribute as he bowed out.

In fact, one wouldn’t have known it was Goldie’s final broadcast unless they had been foretold as his only means of goodbye was a more involved send-off than usual as he thanked some behind-the-scenes employees while he listed off producers and directors.

The silence was deafening.

It was weird.

It was not what Goldberg, who has been with the UFC since 1997, deserved.

Goldberg’s son first took to Twitter to complain about the lack of respect in not honouring his father with a proper goodbye.

And while there was no official tribute for him, Goldberg received nothing but love from fighters and colleagues who sent him their best wishes.