Rumors have run rampant for weeks about Jim Rome being courted by the UFC to replace Mike Goldberg as the company’s lead announcer. So what better way to dispel them then by throwing a curveball.
The UFC has announced the addition of ESPN SportsCenter anchor and former WWE play by play man Todd Grisham as its new play by play announcer. When Grisham will debut on UFC programming though remains unclear.
According to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Grisham’s first assignment will be anchoring the Fox Sports 1 desk for the UFC’s next event on January 15th. However, Marc Raimondi of MMA Fighting reports that Grisham won’t appear until January 28th. Raimondi also added that Grisham was not hired to replace Goldberg as the UFC’s lead announcer. Instead he’s expected to call play by play exclusively for FOX Sports 1.
Which means that the possibility of Jim Rome calling fights for the company is not dead yet.
Grisham fits the bill of someone who should make a smooth transition into calling UFC action. He’s an avid combat sports fan who’s called play by play for Glory Kickboxing, and ESPN’s Friday Night Fights. He also briefly hosted MMA Live on ESPN in 2011 after Jon Anik left to join the UFC.
The work Grisham is most known for is the eight years he spent with the WWE. During his time with the company he provided play by play for WWE Heat, ECW, WWE Smackdown and NXT.
Upon leaving the WWE in 2011, he shifted to ESPN where he’s worked as an anchor and host ever since.