Legendary WWE announcer Jim Ross retired from the company earlier this month, and long-time friend Stone Cold Steve Austin is making a push for the UFC to hire Ross.
On Monday, Austin appeared on Ariel Helwani's The MMA Hour podcast, and was enthusiastic when asked about Ross as an MMA commentator.
“I do, just because the guy has 30 or 40 years of experience with storylines, angles, knowledge, booking and how things worked in our world. Yes, I think he can help in some capacity, some way and somehow. But I have to turn that question on you – do you think he can help?”
On one hand, Ross is an iconic wrestling announcer and would immediately add some excitement to broadcasts manned by vanilla play by play commentators Mike Goldberg and Jon Anik. But on the other hand, it would take time for Ross to build up chemistry with a color commentator, and with the UFC's growing role on Fox, commentary that isn't polished wouldn't be a great look for the company.
There's also the dreaded association with pro wrestling, which the UFC largely managed to snuff out when Brock Lesnar made his way to the UFC and held his own in the Octagon (before getting bulldozed by Cain Velasquez and Alistair Overeem, who beat him so bad that he went back to WWE). There might be something a little off-putting about Ross using terms so strongly associated with wrestling to describe MMA, but really, who knows?
Anyway, this is all wishful thinking. Ross is 61-years old, and I highly doubt he's going to be looking to start commentating on a new sport at this point in his life. Part of me thinks that Jim Ross, MMA commentator would go down the same path as Gus Johnson, soccer commentator in that the core base of fans would lose their minds.
Can't stand wrestling, but that guy's got a great voice. Enjoyed when he did play-by-play for the XFL.
Its much different calling UFC than it is WWE and as bland as Mike Goldberg can be I still wouldn't want this to happen.
Mike Goldberg brings absolutely nothing to the broadcast, so Ross could only be an improvement over him.
@awfulannouncing Have you been watching Sportscenter? The segment talking about why we love sports was the best of what ESPN can do.
@awfulannouncing HAVE YOU HEARD MIKE GOLDBERG?? Of course Good Ole JR should call UFC matches.